PEORIA, Ill.– Physical safety of schools has never been more important than it is right now. A local school district’s safety administration chief excels in that area but also works diligently to do more.
Chief Demario Boone’s extra efforts behind the badge make him this week’s CI Hero.
“The example he sets has trickled down to our department,” said Capt. Richard Gould. “It’s made, in my opinion, all of us better at the little things that go beyond what men and women in uniform provide.”
Captain Gould knows little efforts pave the way for big improvements. Something Chief Demario Boone makes a priority for his team.
“Whether it might be a kid that needs a little extra help in reading, maybe it’s a kid who struggles with self-esteem issues that might need some help with a haircut or clean clothes,” said Gould. “All those things make an enormous difference and there’s no one that’s more aware than that than Chief Boone.”
School safety and security is always a number one priority for safety administration officers. For years, Demario Boone has taken his role as chief inside Peoria Public Schools to do more than just police the hallways.
“They will literally purchase over 100 Thanksgiving meals including turkey and all of the trimmings, everything that goes along with it and they deliver those to families in need,” said Superintendent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat.
Chief Boone and his team go door to door to deliver the meals. Just one of the many extra initiatives he efforts.
“He understands that it’s about developing relationships and getting to know students,” said Dr. Kherat. “Getting to know families. Getting to understand their situation and even connect them with resources and also ongoing interventions.”
Continually going beyond the duties of his badge, Boone says these inventions bring about positive change for Peorians.
“There have been several instances where a student just not going to class turns into getting help for the household,” said Chief Demario Boone. “Someone doesn’t have a mattress at home, so we get a mattress or they need rent paid because they may be evicted. So we get rent taken care of. And those are those types of interventions and the type of police work that we want to do.”
The end of day bell may ring every day at school, but for Chief Boone, his work behind the scenes is never complete.
Chief Boone has been in his role since 2015. He’s also a graduate of Manual High School.
He hopes to inspire youth that no matter your circumstance, you can overcome it and prosper.
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