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District 49 Safety and Security Update

Dear D49 Families, 

We are pleased to tell you about an important step forward in our strategic objective to enhance safety and security at our schools. As we return to learn, we will welcome 6 new members to our armed security staff.  We are assigning these seasoned security officers to our secondary campuses.

Increasing our armed security presence is the direct result of more than two years of work by the District 49 Safety and Security Department, informed by the district’s Enhanced Security Community Advisory Team (ESCAT). This team, made up of our chief officers, community members, parents, and students, learn together by exploring options for enhanced security. In addition to receiving an ESCAT recommendation, when asked through a stakeholder survey, three quarters of staff, parents and community supported the initiative to increase our armed security staff. The D49 Board of Education listened closely to the feedback and approved the rollout of this security enhancement.

These D49 employees are paid through existing MLO funds designated for improving security across the district. Like all of our armed security team, they will work in collaboration with our on-campus law enforcement partners, but they are not School Resource Officers (SRO’s). Each had to successfully navigate an intensive selection process overseen by our Director of Safety and Security, in which a team of D49 staff looked closely at the candidates’ experience, qualifications and background. We are encouraged that each of our new staff has years of experience in similar roles, and each are expected to complete rigorous and regular training in their pursuit of excellent service to our district.

If you have any questions about the additional presence, please do not hesitate to contact a school administrator. For other questions about this district enhanced security initiative, contact our Director of Safety and Security— David Watson at dwatson@d49.org. We thank you for your trust and understanding as we balance our top priorities of safety and our commitment to deliver the best education to every D49 learner. 

Sincerely,

Pedro Almeida, Chief Operations Officer

Dave Watson, Director of Safety and Security