NCHS School Resource Officer
Detective James Tanksley
Naperville Police Department
Naperville Central High School
School Resource Officer
SRO James Tanksley became the school resource officer at Naperville Central High School in January 2018. Prior to Naperville Central High School, Detective Tanksley was the school resource officer at Neuqua Valley High School for 6 years. Detective Tanksley became a police officer with the Naperville Police Department in 1995. During his career in law enforcement, he has served in several different functions within the Naperville Police Department such as: Patrol, Special Response Team, Narcotics Investigator, Special Agent with the Illinois State Police Narcotics Task Force, Recruitment Team, Crisis Negotiator and School Resource Officer. Detective Tanksley is a certified juvenile officer and is also certified as a school resource officer by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO).
School Resource Officers (SRO)
Naperville 203 believes the foundation of all learning is a safe, respectful, and supportive school
environment. The purpose of our behavior policy is to encourage positive, constructive, and
responsible student behavior and to create an environment conducive to learning. All rules and
guidelines within this policy are built on the following core principles; the consideration for the
rights and well-being of others, cooperation with all members of the school community, and
respect for oneself and others.
When a student engages in behavior that disrupts the learning environment or is contrary to
school rules, staff work to guide and support the student in understanding how his/her actions
impact their learning or the learning of others. In addition, staff engage the student in a
conversation regarding how to meet the expectation in the future.
Creating an environment that promotes learning for all is a top priority of Naperville 203. We
recognize the importance of addressing any behaviors that impede the learning of our students.
To support our efforts, the District collaborates with our local police departments to provide
School Resource Officers (SRO) who engage in mentoring, teaching and building relationships
with our students, staff, and families as a means to develop a positive learning environment.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to School Resource Officers
What is the role of the School Resource Officer (SRO) and how does it benefit our
School Resource Officers (SRO) are members of the police department who collaborate with
our schools in the development of a safe, respectful, and supportive learning environment.
These officers serve as a community resource to the students, staff and families by providing
easy access to the full range of police and community resources.
Our SROs provide our schools with information on best practice for adapting our school
campuses to improve safety, respond to intruders, and solicit police response in an emergency.
SROs also serve as a consultant to the school in matters of law enforcement and juvenile
The SRO is a valuable link providing law related education through presentations to classes and
organizations throughout the school, assisting the Deans and Assistant Principals with
investigations related to student conduct, and being available to provide an array of other
related supports or services to staff and students. As active members of our school
communities, SROs develop positive relationships with our students, regularly advocate for
students, and continually problem solve with students, staff and parents.
Is the SRO an employee of the District?
No, the SROs are employees of either the Naperville or Lisle Police Department. The purpose
of the SRO program is to establish positive working relationships among police, school
administration, service agencies, parents and students to maintain a safe and secure learning
environment. Intergovernmental Agreement and SRO Job Description can be found here.
What type of training does an SRO receive?
All SROs complete a 40 hour course provided by the National Association of School Resource
Officers (NASRO). The course provides attendees with an understanding of the role of the SRO,
skills for establishing partnerships within the schools, and covers a range of topics such as
diversity, understanding the teen brain, and school law. For more information on the training
topics and activities, please visit the NASRO website.
In addition, SROs are required to complete a 40 hour course of training certifying them as
Juvenile Specialist Officers. The training includes a variety of topics such as investigative
techniques, adolescents and the media, communicating with adolescents and parents, and
delinquent minors. For more information on the training, please visit the North East
Multi-Regional Training website. Additionally, SRO’s participate in a variety of professional
development opportunities based on interests and recommendations from school and/or police
How may an SRO become involved with my student?
SROs are active members of our school community. They are present in our secondary schools
on a regular basis, interacting with students in hallways, lunchrooms and extra-curricular
activities. They provide prevention programs in our classrooms on topics such as digital
footprint, sexting and cyberbullying education, and provide guest appearances in our health and
driver's education classes. They are often sought by our students and parents who have
questions around issues such as eviction notifications, runaways, threats, child safety concerns,
traffic issues, and neighborhood disputes. When a student believes they have been a victim (i.e.
theft, assault, identity theft, bullying, etc.), it is not uncommon for students to go directly to an
SRO for guidance and assistance.
In addition to the pro-active relationship building that occurs between the SROs and students, if
a student is involved in an incident where a criminal or potential criminal act has occurred, the
building administrator may seek the resources or guidance of a School Resource Officer. A
building administrator (i.e. Dean, Assistant Principal, Principal) may involve an SRO in matters
such as Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) concerns, threats to student, staff
or building safety as well as drug use or distribution and assaults.
Who is responsible for discipline within our schools?
School administrators (i.e. Dean, Assistant Principal, Principal) are responsible for the discipline
of students within our schools. A student may be subject to disciplinary action for any conduct
that is reasonably related to school or school activities and adversely affects the school
environment or the safety of any student, staff or school property. When the behavior involves a
criminal or potential criminal act which impacts the school environment, the SRO will be
consulted and may actively assist in the investigation. This investigation may result in legal
action, which is separate from the school discipline administered by school administrators.
When may an SRO be involved with a disciplinary investigation of my student?
The safety of our school community is, and always will be, the District’s number one priority.
School administrators (i.e. Deans, Assistant Principals, Principals) are obligated to investigate
any incident of which they have knowledge that might jeopardize the safety of a student, staff
member or school property. As a consistent available resource, the School Resource Officer is
available to assist the school administrators with these investigations and student interviews.
In addition to the primary focus of maintaining a safe learning environment in all of our schools,
the District has established behavior rules and guidelines in Board Policy 7:190 to encourage
positive, constructive and responsible student behavior to promote an environment conducive to
learning. These rules set forth the guiding principles for promoting expected behaviors and
provide examples of prohibited student conduct which would interfere with the maintenance of a
positive, productive student learning environment. Depending on the behavior of concern,
school administrators involved with investigating possible violations of these school rules may
seek the assistance of an SRO in such investigations, including the interview of students.
Similarly, the District is obligated to investigate any incidents of bullying, intimidation and
harassment, including sexual harassment and cyberbullying, as outlined in Board Policy 7.180.
Any activity during a school-sponsored program or through the transmission of information from
any electronic device which causes a disruption to the educational process or interferes with a
student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by
the District is subject to investigation by school administrators, and possibly the School
When can parents expect to be notified that their student has been interviewed by an
Naperville 203 appreciates the role of the parent as partners in helping to promote positive,
constructive and responsible student behavior. As a District, we are committed to this
partnership and every effort is made to contact parents as soon as the building administrator
has an accurate understanding of the incident and enough information to determine what, if any,
consequences are appropriate.
In accordance with Board Policy 7.150 and Board Policy 7:150-R a parent will be contacted
prior to an SRO or law enforcement representative questioning their child anytime the event of
concern occurred outside of school and has no impact on another student, staff or school
When SROs are investigating a school related incident or any incident which may have potential
consequences for the safety of the students or employees, students may be interviewed by the
SRO without parent permission. As with all investigations, parents are contacted when the
events of the incident are confirmed and sufficient information is available to determine what, if
any, consequences are appropriate.