Monday, February 11, 2013

Harrison announces "Shield Our Students"

A candidate in the 2014 election for McHenry County Sheriff, Jim Harrison, has announced a program he will, if elected,  attempt to create to increase the safety and security of all students in McHenry County. His program, called "Shield Our Students", revolves around placing highly-trained, state-certified, professional police officers and deputy sheriffs in every public and private school in the county.

His idea is to create an inter-governmental relationship between all the schools and law enforcement agencies, so that active and retired law enforcement officers could be hired on a part-time basis and placed in schools from 7:00AM until 5:00PM. His theory is that "criminal offenders avoid going to places where the police are stationed to commit their crimes."
He adds, "Drive-by shootings don’t happen in front of police stations."

You can read all the details of his announcement here.


Justin said...

I read with great interest the proposal by Jim Harrison. I’m sure this is just the first salvo and proposals in what will be a highly contested election. My hat’s off to Harrison for at least trying to initiate a dialog to protect our kids by using an untapped resource being our retired cops. In other states, notably Arizona there is already movement to do exactly this. Sheriff Joe is using his Reserve Deputy program and has already started training them on active shooter response and school safety programs. These Reserve Deputies work FREE. Unfortunately in Illinois, the State statutes prevent “reserve police” or reserve deputies. Illinois requires all persons to be Certified Police Officers so following a model such as in Arizona is unavailable.
If Harrison succeeds in this venture, there are numerous qualified retired Deputies, Police Officers and State Police that still have their State Certification and could be hired to fulfill this function and still be within the law. Working part time would not require the county or schools to pay health or retirement benefits, yet schools would receive trained experienced officers.
This seems like a win-win for the taxpayers and the schools. I expect that now others will jump on the wagon and play the ‘me too”. It’s refreshing to see some ideas rather than just finger pointing

The Usual Suspect said...

Sign me up Scotty. As long as the officers are State Certified why not tap into this group of trained cops? I bet there are many newly retired cops that would like to work a day or two each week.

I like the idea. I think something like this is a great idea. Most retired cops are past the hardcore book'm Dano stuff and would work well with students.Looks like this lawyer excop is a inovative thinker.

Midnight Rider Review said...

I too believe this is a good idea. I know many police officers who are around 60ish, and still in good shape for duty and would love to work a school schedule.

One question comes to mind. God for bid something happens to an officer who is not covered by the schools insurance and a departments healthcare/work comp.

Who would pay for the officers injuries while Volunteering and again, God forbid, the retired officers death benefits and or survivors benefits such as what any active duty officer would receive?

I hope we see many good ideas to come forward in this next Sheriffs election.

Big Daddy said...

I like it provided one thing is understood. I'm there for an active shooter. I'm not there to pinch litle Jimmy for a joint, to quell a spat between two girls and I do not work for the principal. I will give the students 110 percent. I will even give up my life if an active shooter shows up. I will guarante you that if he does,he will not harm our children. But if I am required to do the three things I mentioned, I'm out.

The Usual Suspect said...

Both Big Daddy and Midnight Rider make valid points. As far as the 'benefits" issue. I would suspect that it would be set up like the part time guys now working. (security and Marine Patrol) They get full coverage for any duty related injury and are covered for any liability by the county. They just don't get the health insurance and vacation benifits. I don't think they even get holiday pay but schools are off on holidays anyway.

I too agree that the purpose should not be the same as a school resource officer. Of course if there is a life safety issue such as a fight, then by all means jump in. Also no cop would stand by if someone was dealing drugs, but playing the part of full fledged "rules enforcer" should be left to the school.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like he stole my idea!!!!!!!!!