ROCK ISLAND, IL — Rock Island Chief of Police Jeff VenHuizen informed the Rock Island/Milan School District Administration on Tuesday, July 14 that the Police Department would be unable to staff two positions for the School Resource Officer (SRO) program for the 2020-21 school year. The Rock Island Police Department has experienced a shortage of officers over the last year due to retirements and other factors that prevented candidates from attending the Police Academy.
Superintendent Dr. Reginald Lawrence informed the Board of Education after meeting with RIPD.
Chief VenHuizen states, “The Rock Island Police Department sees great value in our School Resource Officer program. The direct connection we maintain with students and faculty from the program has been beneficial for our community. Unfortunately, due to the increasing manpower shortage, we have come to the difficult decision of not staffing the two positions for the upcoming school year. We remain committed to the safety and security of our schools. Once our manpower shortages have been stabilized, we plan to revisit the program with the school district.”
Dr. Lawrence says, “We truly value the relationship between the school district and the Rock Island Police Department. The School Resource Officer program has been a great benefit to the schools and fostered positive relationships with students, provided mentorship and created a safer school environment.”