LA GRANGE – Lyons Township High School District 204 will now have a full-time school resource officer at its North Campus, thanks to a partnership with the village of La Grange.
The district and village will share the cost of the officer, who will be present on school days and certain events, according to a district news release.
La Grange police officer Tim Andries has been assigned as the North Campus school resource officer. He has served as a patrol officer since 2012, including four years of DARE and one year in investigations, the release stated. Andries is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army for four years prior to joining the La Grange Police Department. He is a certified juvenile officer.
“Having a full-time school resource officer on campus takes immediacy, preparedness and responsiveness to a whole new level,” Superintendent Tim Kilrea said in the release. “LT and the La Grange Police Department have always had a very collaborative and cooperative relationship. Dedicating an officer on a full-time basis to LT North Campus has been considered and discussed for years, and to see this position come to fruition will be a huge asset for our students, staff and families.”
Andries will work together with his counterpart at South Campus, Western Springs police officer Ashlee Niezgoda.
“With the addition of a school resource officer at North Campus in conjunction with the Western Springs officer at South Campus, we now have consistency across the district," Board of Education President Tom Cushing said in the release. "You cannot underestimate the positive impact an officer in the building day in and day out has on a student body. Their presence alone will help create an atmosphere of added safety and security.”
The school resource officer’s role includes participating in investigations, serving as a liaison between the school and police agencies, and assisting staff with security measures and students and parents with juvenile law issues, according to the release.
The officer is specifically trained and addresses situations proactively, often dealing with pressures that confront today's students, including the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco, along with peer pressure and bullying. The officer does more than patrol the school; students learn to trust the officer through their experiences, which has a positive impact on the students and their communities, the release stated.
“The Village and Police Department support the assignment of a full-time school resource officer at LT’s North Campus, a vital position that not only serves the school but the community at large," La Grange Village President Tom Livingston said in the release. "The assignment will enhance our continued joint efforts to provide a safe and nurturing community for our residents and students.”