Pekin Hires Full-Time Resource Officer

Photo courtesy of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department
Casey Jarmes
The News-Review

PACKWOOD – On Aug. 14, the Pekin CSD School Board approved hiring Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Angie Pohren to work as a full time School Resource Officer. Last year, Pohren worked 15 hours a week at the school. She will now be at the school from 7:45 till 3:45 each day, while also handling law enforcement duties when school is not in session.

“We really just enjoyed having her here,” said Superintendent Derek Philips. “She built good relationships with kids and was really able to impact our culture here. It’s hard to explain, but there is just a different feel in the building when she was here. And it wasn’t like a, oh my gosh, kids are scared, deal…She was able to convince kids and talk to kids, but she wasn’t one of those where you see on Facebook and TikTok and all those, where she goes in and cuffs the kid. She never put her hands on a kid last year ever. So, when we wanted to pursue hiring her, it wasn’t because things are out of control here. It was more to keep everybody safe, that safe feeling, and have another influential adult that kids could connect with and talk with.”

According to the school, Pohren’s job is to: build strong relationships with students, staff, and families; act as a liaison between school and other entities; be visible during the school day and in parking lots; assist in talking with students; and provide lessons to students. The school stressed that Pohren is not a security guard, is not there because of a crisis situation, and is not a disciplinarian or "scared straight" officer.

Pohren has lived her entire life in the Jefferson County area. She graduated from Fairfield in 2000, began working as a correctional officer for the sheriff's department in 2006, and became a deputy in 2008. “Over the course of my career I have always enjoyed connecting with area youth inside and outside of the school setting,” said Pohren. “I hope to continue building on positive relationships with everyone at PCSD.  Being there full-time will allow me to focus on creative ways to keep building those relationships.”

“With school safety and things, it’s nice to have that officer there,” said Phillips. “Really, for us, one of the big things is just our location. With being in the northwest part of the county, we’re far from emergency services, especially if they’re on the eastern. You know, if you’re on the southeastern part of Jefferson county and you need to come to the northwest, it’s a haul. We know that being that far from emergency services has its concerns, and so the fact that we can have someone here full time, it’s a good peace of mind.”




The News-Review

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