Homer Glen balks at paying for cops at Lockport Township High School
By Michelle Mullins Correspondent July 11, 2014 2:46PM
Updated: July 15, 2014 2:09AM
Some Homer Glen officials aren’t keen about helping to pay for a Lockport police officer to be stationed at Lockport Township High School, even though they believe that having an officer is important for student safety.
Village officials last week tabled a proposal to donate $15,000 to help fund an officer for the 2014-15 school year.
The officer’s annual salary and benefits are about $98,600. District 205 would cover half that cost, with the three towns in the school district — Lockport, Homer Glen and Crest Hill — providing the other half. Under the proposal, Lockport would pay nearly $30,000, Homer Glen $15,000 and Crest Hill $5,000.
About half of Lockport Township High School’s students are from Homer Glen, and the village board planned for the $15,000 contribution in the 2014-15 budget.
The school liaison officer is armed and able to help ensure safety at the school, Lockport Police Chief Terry Lemming told Homer Glen trustees.
“I don’t want to have an officer in the school. I really don’t,” Lemming said. “But I know it’s vitally important he is there. ... We have to do it in this day and age.”
Mayor Jim Daley said Homer Glen once contributed to the cost of the high school’s officer but opted out years ago when Crest Hill decided against doing so. He said he feels the $15,000 is well worth the money.
But some trustees aren’t so sure. Trustee George Yukich said he isn’t against having an officer stationed in the school but District 205 should cover the full cost.
Trustee Mike Costa agreed, saying the “school district is a taxing body. I think (it) should pay for this.”
If Homer Glen doesn’t contribute funds, Lockport Township High School would still have an officer there, but Lockport would have to fully pay for the position, Lockport city administrator Ben Benson said.