The Niles Police Department has utilized officers in school for many years. In 2001, as part of a federal grant the Niles Police Department placed two police officers in two local schools. The officers in the School Resources Officer (SRO) program are specially trained in juvenile law, prevention classes, crime prevention, gangs, drug prevention, gang prevention, and school violence. The program is based around the concept of the triad belief system law enforcement officer, teacher, and counselor. A goal of the officer is to make the students comfortable in the school setting to humanize the officer and reach out for help.
As a teacher, the officer hopes to educate young people about crime, gangs, drug, violence, and other issues as they arise. The last concept is that the law enforcement officer might have more pressing responsibilities but this one is just as important. The officer's job is to enforce any laws and be available as a resource to students who may be presently in the juvenile justice system.
Officers assigned to the SRO program have completed a National Certification with the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), training that took place over 72 hours. In addition, members of the Niles Police Department SRO Unit are also members of the Illinois School Resource Officers Association (ILSROA) and routinely get training through this association. Presently, the Niles Police Department has one officer assigned to work with all Niles Schools. In addition to the single SRO there are other officers who conduct lectures and classroom presentations involving programs such as Stranger Danger, GATE, and Internet Safety.
Currently the officer assigned to be liaison to all schools in Niles is Officer Noe Hernandez. Email Officer Hernandez or call the School Resource Officer Unit at 847-588-6519 for more information.