During a regular meeting on April 24, the District 97 Board of Education unanimously approved the appointment of John Chase as the new safety and security coordinator. He officially started the job on April 25. 

Chase, whose position was approved at the start of this school year, is responsible for “creating, coordinating, implementing and monitoring systems focused on safety for the district’s 10 schools and administration buildings,” according to an April 29 statement released by the district. 

Chase will also serve as a liaison to state and local law enforcement agencies, and develop plans for securing special events and managing crises that may occur at the district.

In the April 29 statement, D97 Supt. Carol Kelley said that making sure students are safe “is a critical component of our commitment to creating a positive learning environment.”

She added that Chase’s “experience and expertise in public safety administration will be a tremendous asset as we work to continually assess and improve our systems around safety in all of our buildings.”

Before joining D97, Chase spent five years developing and managing safety and security programs, including two years as an “emergency response and security coordinator for a Fortune 500 company.” 

Chase has more than 15 years of experience in law enforcement and security planning, and has been a firefighter in Keener Township, Indiana. He also served nine years as a police officer in Lowell, Indiana. 

“I am greatly appreciative to be a part of this district and community,” said Chase, who obtained his bachelor’s degree in public safety administration from Calumet College of Saint Joseph and a master’s degree in organizational communication from Purdue University. 

“My goal is to provide a safety and security program that [keeps facilities] and grounds as safe as possible, while maintaining an environment that is conducive to learning,” he said. 

District officials had not provided Chase’s base pay by the time this story went to print. 

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com    

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