Yorkville CUSD #115 has hired their first armed "Safe School Security Officer" who will aid in district security.
School board documents show Joseph Grimaldi has been hired and will be paid $34.50 an hour. The Yorkville Board of Education approved the measure amid district hires at their meeting earlier this week.
Grimaldi previously served as Deputy Chief of Police with the Winfield Police Department and began with the department in 1992. Grimaldi has been involved with Yorkville Youth Tackle Football and Yorkville Youth Baseball and Softball organizations for several years. He currently is a campus police officer at Waubonsee Community College.
As WSPY previously reported, earlier this year, the board approved for the current 2019-2020 school year two security supervisor positions to, "work closely with the District 115 administration, faculty and staff, emergency management team, and local first responders to assess the current protocols for safety/security across the district, and to facilitate the training's of Run/Hide/Fight (emergency protocol)."
Yorkville is among the first districts in the area to implement armed officers. Yorkville Supt. Tim Shimp told WSPY in 2018 that he researched the idea after the Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting took place in Florida.
Grimaldi is the first hire of the two expected this school year. Additional officers could be hired in the future, as well. School officials say the officers will not act as police officers and cannot make arrests. The security officers will be used to deal with crisis prevention and de-escalating incidents.
Administration seeks to increase security personnel at the K-8 level, and to provide increased support across the district related to areas of supervision, emergency management and training, proactive educational opportunities and communications, etc.
The additional personnel would compliment the existing School Resource Officer that primarily works at Yorkville High School.
Following the approval this week, Yorkville Police welcomed Grimaldi in a post saying, "we look forward to working with Joe and the School District to continue providing a safe and positive learning environment."