District 204’s School Safety Night

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Police officers from all over District 204’s boundaries came out for a panel on school safety.

Discussions started with school resource officers, covering how they’re selected and what they do.

In addition to just being a police presence, they are tasked with making connections with students by talking in classes and attending events.

That helps make students feel more comfortable about coming to them when something is wrong.

“Problems will come to me before they escalate and become worse, kids come to me and say hey you might want to take a look at this. I have that open door, I’m in the hallways, in the lunchroom, the kids know me, and they tell me about their weekend, stuff like that. So it’s somebody to talk to and a good partnership,” said Zach Gartner, school resource officer at Waubonsie Valley High School.

The panel also discussed some tips for helping young people stay safe online. They recommend knowing what apps your kids are on and who they’re talking to.

“You have the phone, but I have the power and I get to look at it whenever. So that’s the sort of thing you have to do with your kids. I get it, there’s privacy, but there’s no privacy with juveniles. You paid for that phone, you’re in charge of it and if they won’t give it to you, you take it away from them,” said Tim Ogan, a commander at the Naperville Police Department.

The panel also discussed District 204’s new school safety dog program, which brings a golden retriever into schools to sniff for drugs and firearms.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.