SRO Program at ETHS
Evanston Township High School District 202 established a School Resource Officer (SRO) program in partnership with the Evanston Police Department as part of an intergovernmental agreement to improve school safety and the learning environment. While the primary role of the SROs is to protect students and staff from external threats, such as a school shooter on campus, the SRO program at ETHS focuses on restorative practices that support a sense of connectedness within the school community.
Recognizing that the restorative practice approach contrasts with most traditional policing models, ETHS works to ensure that the SRO program reflects transparency and accountability. SROs are part of the school’s problem-solving, mentoring, social emotional wellbeing, and student engagement efforts. Students have an opportunity to build relationships with the SROs through community programs, Public Safety courses, Peace Circles, and other initiatives.
The SROs work with the ETHS Safety Department on emergency response and with the ETHS Deans who oversee the school's discipline code. (See The Pilot handbook for details about the discipline philosophy.)
About the SROs
Loyce E. Spells, II
Officer Spells is a 20-year veteran of the Evanston Police Department and former 5th-6th grade teacher. He’s currently assigned to the Community Strategies Bureau as a certified Illinois Juvenile Officer and as a nationally recognized SRO through the National Association of School Resource Officers. He has served with the Problem Solving Team and Juvenile Investigations Bureau. He has also served as an Evidence Technician, Crime Scene Investigator, Crisis Intervention Team Member, Program Manager of the Youth and Adult Citizen Police Academy, and as an EPD Crime Prevention Specialist.
Officer Spells has worked with numerous agencies and organizations throughout Evanston to end homelessness, substance abuse, and youth violence. He has served on the Board of Directors for Connections for the Homeless, Evanston Substance Abuse Prevention Council, and is a co-founder of Peaceable Cities: Evanston. Officer Spells is also a licensed and ordained minister, a certified Balanced and Restorative Justice practitioner, and graduate of the Evanston Community Foundation’s Leadership Evanston Program.
At Evanston Township High School, Officer Spells has provided instruction in Senior Studies and Forensic Science courses. In addition, he serves as the lead instructor in the ETHS public safety dual credit course with Oakton Community College.
Officer Spells holds a BA in Corporate-Organizational Communications from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Jurisprudence degree with a concentration in Children’s Law & Policy from Loyola University Chicago Law School, and is pursuing a Doctorate of Law degree.
He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Evanston NorthShore University Hospital Child Protection Committee, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Illinois Juvenile Justice Leadership Council, Cook County Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children in foster care, and several other nationally recognized organizations.