Police presence at PHS

Elyssa Reed, A&E Editor

As recent calls to “defund the police” move across the nation, a police presence remains at Palatine High School. Student Resource Officers are placed in schools to counsel students who have broken the law on how to be an upstanding citizen. 

“My main goal is to establish trust with them and try to assist them in changing the direction that their lives are heading,” Palatine High School Student Resource Officer Travis Meeks said. “I want all students to become productive and successful members of society.”

Many schools across the nation have Student Resource Officers. ‘Defund the police’ has become a battle cry of many protestors. It leaves the question as to what the country would look like, but also schools. A Palatine High School student was asked about what future they could see for the police consultant program.

“I really feel like one isn’t necessary in schools,” senior Sarah Hwang said. “We have a police station a couple of minutes from school. We still have hall monitors, so I really feel like we would be fine without one.”

Student Resource Officers’ main goal is to ensure safety and help students whenever they can. They work to conduct safety drills, de-escalate fights, etc. Their number one goal is to ensure that they reinforce good citizenship among students. 

“I feel with one officer there and I feel like I can talk to him [Meeks],” senior Julian Dominguez said. “I know him and he seems really approachable and kind. When there’s other officers there when he’s not there, I feel weird, so establishing a relationship with the officer is very important.”

Community policing is a big thing within the police department, said Meeks, to build trust and communication with students.

The police consultant program has been in District 211 since 1969. Its main goal is to help the students. This year looks different with remote learning, but the goal remains the same.