Harlem Middle School May Get Armed Officer

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Harlem School District leaders say they're tired of hearing that the police have been called once again to the middle school. So in an effort to make classrooms more safe, an armed police officer may soon be roaming the halls.

Harlem Middle School officials are calling the Loves Park Police Department an average of four times a day due to unruly students. Since police are called so often, some members of the Harlem School Board would like an armed Loves Park police officer to permanently man school hallways.

School Board member Patti Lawrence says the police presence would help cut down on crime in Harlem Middle School. She says since a Winnebago County Sheriff started patrolling Harlem High School a few years ago, crime has gone done significantly. But parents say having a police officer on school grounds is not the way to go.

"I don't believe our children need to be intimidated by the police. I think that the teachers and the parents can control that in our school district without having the police involved," says parent Kristi Fields.

If an officer is hired to roam the halls of Harlem Middle School, it wouldn't go into effect until the following school year.