Peoria's Chief of Police says a new, temporary agreement between the city and the school district could put a strain on his department.
City and District 150 officials announced Tuesday that four police officers would patrol Peoria's three traditional high schools and the Woodruff Career and Technical Center.
While sending the officers to work at the schools won't take officers off the street, Chief Steve Settingsgaard says it will increase the need to hire on overtime. But overtime, he says, is just a temporary fix.
"We reach a point where overtime is exhausting, and we have fewer officers volunteering. There's only so many hours you can work," Settingsgaard said.
However, the issue of exhaustion may not come up for a few months.
"The good part of that is this time of year, we don't have a lot of officers that are off on vacation. So we're not as critically short as we could be," Settingsgaard said.
He says the ultimate solution may be to hire more officers, but that also may not happen for a few months.
The decision to send four police officers to the schools comes after a state panel stripped the District's Public Resource Officers of their police powers, since they are not certified law enforcement officers. The District says SROs will keep their jobs, but they will no longer be able to carry firearms or make arrests.
A long-term solution to the issue is in the works.