Oak Park and River Forest High School | FILE

The new Director of Campus Safety at Oak Park and River Forest High School is a retired Chicago police lieutenant. As part of its consent agenda on July 13 the OPRF school board unanimously approved hiring Cindy Guerra as the school’s new security chief. Guerra is replacing Cherlynn Jones-McLeod who resigned from the position last month after only one year in the position.

Guerra retired from the Chicago Police Department in 2021 after a 27-year career as a Chicago police officer. For the past year she served as the interim chief of police for Northeastern Illinois University. Immediately after retiring from the Chicago Police Department, she worked for five months as the Incident Support Services director for Fairfax (Virginia) County.

As a police lieutenant she supervised the 19th Police District in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago before overseeing operations in the police department’s Office of Communications before retiring.

Supt. Greg Johnson told Wednesday Journal in an interview Tuesday that Guerra “checked all the boxes” the school had for this post. 

In an email to the paper Johnson wrote, “Cindy Guerra has an incredibly robust skill set that made her our top choice for director of campus safety. She has a strong focus on relationships and restorative justice practices, experience with emergency response planning as well as safety protocols in an educational setting, and a strategic view of evaluating and implementing safety practices across the board. Her experience will help us further build on our collaboration with local law enforcement. On a more personal level, she’s a warm and compassionate person, and she specifically wants to be part of this community,” said Johnson.

Earlier in her policing career Guerra served for two years as a detective sergeant in the special investigations unit overseeing detectives investigating cases of child sexual abuse according to her LinkedIn page. She also served as liaison with the domestic violence division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

During an earlier three-year stint as a sergeant in the police department’s communications office from 2016 until 2019 Guerra served as the police department’s spokesperson for office involved shootings, active crime scenes and other important matters.

Guerra received a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement management from Calumet College of Saint Joseph and went on to earn a master’s degree in police psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. She is a certified crisis intervention officer and a certified electronic criminal surveillance officer.

Guerra’s salary will be $115,000 a year. Her first day on the job was July 10 so she will be paid $112,788 for the fiscal year that began on July 1.

Guerra didn’t immediately return calls from Wednesday Journal on Monday.

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