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Local

D-54, sheriff’s office partner for school safety

District, department to split costs for school resource officer

The Morris Elementary School District 54 board voted to partner with the Grundy County Sheriff's Office to provide a school resource officer on site during the school year.
The Morris Elementary School District 54 board voted to partner with the Grundy County Sheriff's Office to provide a school resource officer on site during the school year.

MORRIS – When the school year begins, there will be a new addition to the school. At a recent meeting, the Morris Elementary School District 54 board voted to partner with the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office to provide a school resource officer at the building whenever class is in session.

It has been in the works for a while, district Superintendent Shannon Dudek said, with plans going back to the beginning of last year.

“At the beginning of last year we hired a school security adviser, a former police officer,” Dudek said. “Starting in March, we decided we wanted a full-time school resource officer.”

The district and the sheriff’s office will split the cost of the officer at $45,000 apiece.

Grundy County Sheriff Kevin Callahan said it was a win-win situation for the district and the office.

“It will allow us to have an extra deputy during the summer, which is our busy season,” Callahan said. “We would do it for any other school.”

Callahan noted that Dudek was very passionate about getting a school resource officer at the building.

Callahan said a lot of schools have resource officers on site and that it is not uncommon.

Other items the board discussed at their special meeting included putting the district budget for fiscal 2019 on file. It is posted and available to view at the district office and will be voted on at the Sept. 17 school board meeting.

When kids go back to classes Aug. 16, they’ll also be going back to a building with a new name.

After White Oak and Shabbona schools merged for the 2016-17 school year, there was some uncertainty over what the new entity should be called.

Students will walk into Morris Grade School at the start of the new year.

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