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

    Tanya Jenkins, SRO

    Tanya Jenkins

    Officer Jenkins is an 18-year veteran of the Evanston Police Department. She has worked as a patrol officer, a juvenile detective, a School Resource Officer for Haven Middle School, and as a community police officer for Evanston’s 8th Ward and 6th Ward. She is proud to serve as an SRO for ETHS, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. Officer Jenkins is a certified Juvenile Officer  and is certified by the National Association of School Resource Officers. She is also a graduate of the Evanston Community Foundation’s Leadership Evanston Program.

    Officer Jenkins has worked extensively with Evanston youth and community organizations in various roles. She taught bicycle safety at Dawes Elementary School and coordinated a weekly bike ride for girls during the Mayor’s “Biking for Females'' event. In addition to being a regular speaker for Safety Town, she has volunteered with the Evanston School Children Clothing Association and with Learning Bridge Early Childhood Center, serving as a monthly reader to students. She has also served as a “Big Sister” for Big Brothers Big Sisters, a national youth mentorship program, and as a team leader for Chicago Cares.

    Officer Jenkins has been part of a range of programs and initiatives at Evanston Township High School. As a member of the Evanston chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and as a former member of Woman’s Club of Evanston, Officer Jenkins has participated in Dreams Delivered, a program that provides new or once-worn dresses to ETHS students at no cost for prom. She has served as a facilitator at a Latinx Student Summit and has facilitated sessions at every Black Student Summit at ETHS. She has also worked with the Center for Independent Futures to help students improve their understanding and relationship with police. 

    Officer Jenkins holds a Master of Jurisprudence degree in Children’s Law and Policy. She previously taught and later co-facilitated the Citizens Police Academy as well as the Youth Citizens Police Academy, in addition to coordinating “Coffee with a Cop.” She is a trainer for The Law and Your Community, a nationally recognized, hands-on interactive training program for young people ages 13-18. The program is designed to improve teens’ communication with law enforcement officers and increase their understanding of their federal, state and local laws. 

    A former board member of Peaceable Cities and trained in restorative justice, Officer Jenkins is a mentor for Evanston Scholars and is currently a board member for Curt’s Café, a local restaurant committed to improving outcomes for young adults living in at-risk situations through work and life skills training.

     

    Loyce E. Spells, II, SRO

    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.

School Resource Officer Program