The Champaign Police Department and Champaign Unit 4 Schools announced today that they will be temporarily suspending the School Resource Officer Program due to staffing issues within the police department. Here is the press release:
With the upcoming school year set to begin Aug. 19, the Champaign Police Department and Champaign Unit 4 Schools are announcing the temporary suspension of the School Resource Officer Program for the 2021-22 school year due to police staffing shortages. Champaign Police will continue to proactively monitor school safety and maintain a presence throughout the school year. The primary change is there will not be assigned SROs (School Resource Officers) to school buildings.
“The well-being and safety of our students and schools will always be a priority for Champaign Police, and though we have suspended our School Resource Officer Program due to staffing resources, each officer still has the ability to monitor, visit and check in on our schools to help foster safe and positive learning environments,” said Chief of Police Anthony Cobb. “Our relationship with Unit 4 is not ending, and we are committed to continuing to provide public safety resources to the best of our ability.”
The Champaign Police Department will still respond to calls for service and be available for major crises whenever needed by Unit 4. Police remain committed to providing resources for special and athletic events at school facilities and maintaining a visible presence before and after school as patrol resources allow.
“As we strive to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment for our students and staff, we will continue to work closely with our partners at CPD. This is an opportunity for us to proactively approach the security of our students and staff from a social-emotional and equity lens,” said Unit 4 Superintendent Dr. Shelia Boozer. “We plan to strengthen student supports through restorative practice, therapeutic crisis intervention (TCI) training, and introducing Student Support Advocates (SSAs) as part of our staffing.”
The lines of communication between Champaign Police and Unit 4 Schools will remain strong and consistent, and administrators will continue to meet regularly. Administration from both organizations will continue to ensure timely information related to school and student safety is shared to families and the public.
We wrote about School Resource Officers in Champaign and Urbana last year.
Top photo from Champaign Unit 4 Schools website.