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CUSD 10 welcomes two new student resource officers

Officer Frank Leffler, SRO for K-6th Grade buildings poses with Renfro Elementary students, from left to right: Mailani Hicks, Ofc Frank Leffler, Hannah Grace Givens and Brantly Fox-Wisnarski. Photo courtesy of Renfro Elementary

By Devese “Dee” Ursery

The Collinsville Community Unit District No. 10 is welcoming two new full-time student resource officers. 

Dr. Mark Skertich, CUSD 10 superintendent, recently introduced Officer Frank Leffler and Officer Chris Warren from Maryville and Collinsville Police Departments, respectively. Leffler began his post at the start of the new year, while Warren is waiting to be assigned.

Chris Warren

“Officer Leffler will be working our Kindergarten through sixth grade elementary buildings,” Skertich said. “In addition. In the weeks ahead we would like to welcome Officer Warren from the Collinsville Police Department.”

Skertich also said the two newly hired officers will be working as SROs throughout CUSD 10 elementary buildings to add another layer of protection. The SROs also add security and provide interaction with CUSD 10 students, he said.

Kimberly Collins, public relations liaison for CUSD 10 said that during its meeting on Aug. 15, 2022, the Collinsville Board of Education authorized Skertich to finalize SRO agreements with Caseyville, Collinsville and Maryville Police Departments. The agreements with these departments gives CUSD 10 the ability to expand SRO presence in their schools.

Collins explains the importance of having a police-type presence on school campuses around Collinsville.

“In addition to providing added security and a sense of safety, SROs build relationships with students,” Collins said. “The officers have become a regular face in the hallways, classrooms and lunchrooms. The SROs and students have built a rapport with and even recognize one another, she continued.”

According to Collins the two new SROs are funded through the district, but are not district employees. They are police officers employed by their respective departments. “We have agreements with the departments to compensate them for the officers assigned to our school district,” she said.

Frank Leffler

CUSD 10 currently has four SROs working their schools, with a fifth on the way. SROs have their designated primary location, but can serve any school in the district. They work as a team to cover all of the school buildings in the district.

Officers Rebecca Hudson and Courtney Colbert are with Collinsville PD and are assigned to Collinsville High School and Middle School, respectively. Caseyville Police Officer Scott Toth works at Caseyville Elementary and Hollywood Heights Schools. 

Leffler, a Maryville officer, is assigned to three school buildings: Maryville Elementary, Renfro Elementary and Dorris Intermediate School, both located in Collinsville.

CUSD 10 also has two retired police officers that serve as the district’s security staff and are actual district employees. Dan Porter is the security director and Jennifer Kyrouac the security officer for the district. Both are former SROs.

The security director is responsible for district security, including plans, training and personnel. He is also the liaison between the district and local law enforcement. The security officer assists with those duties as needed. Both also provide extra support to schools and school events like the SROs.

Leffler, a 23-year veteran of the police force explains the importance of having a secure presence on school grounds. He said that he is in three different schools everyday building relationships with the students and their teachers.

“I think it’s very definitely an important job nowadays especially with everything going on around the country,” Leffler said. “I have given my information to all of the teachers in all three of my schools,” Lleffler said. ”I let them know to email me and I will set up times where I can come in and talk to classes or read books to the elementary school students.”


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