ST. CHARLES – Starting this fall, student resource officers will be placed at Thompson and Wredling middle schools in addition to being stationed at St. Charles North and St. Charles East high schools.
At the St. Charles City Council meeting on March 4, aldermen approved a one-year agreement between the city and the St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 to place a student resource officer at each middle school along with each high school.
Student resource officers are currently stationed at St. Charles North and St. Charles East high schools.
"The district has approached us with the desire to expand that program in the two existing middle schools that will be in operation next year," St. Charles Police Chief James Keegan had previously told aldermen.
St. Charles School Board members approved the agreement at their Feb. 11 meeting. There is an increasing need for the student resource officers to be stationed at the two middle schools.
"We've seen kind of an increase in some middle school-related behaviors that are requiring student resource officer interventions that's taking them away from the high schools," St. Charles School Superintendent Jason Pearson had said during the School Board's Business Services Committee meeting on Feb. 5. "We want to have someone there to support our schools as we work with students and families that might be engaging in or struggling with behavior issues."
In 2016, the board approved a plan to upgrade Wredling Middle School, renovate Thompson Middle School and close Haines Middle School by fall 2019. Pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement reached between the city and the district in 2011, the cost for services for the 2019-2020 school year will be waived for two student resource officers and the district will be charged for two student resource officers at a cost of $195,551.
When school is not in session, the officers will be reassigned to either patrol duties or an assignment within investigations. The officers will be hired after May 1, once the 2019-20 budget is in effect.
The agreement between the city and school district is set to expire on June 10, 2020.