Peoria’s new top cop among many to welcome kids back to the classroom



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PEORIA (WEEK) – Students in the Peoria Public Schools system are back in the classroom for the first time since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Even Peoria’s new police chief joined school staff and teachers to build excitement for the new school year.

Principal Michelle Cruz organized Wednesday morning’s welcome at Von Steuben Middle School.

“I just wanted to surround the building with support, so that we could let them know they are valued, and they are cared about, and we’re all here to support them,” said Cruz.

Peoria Police officers were among a diverse group of community members welcoming students. New Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria said it’s important that students know local police not only protect, but support them as well.

“It’s an important day, ” said the chief.

“We want to make sure the children feel safe, the community knows that we’re out here,” he added.

“We want parents to feel comfortable that their kids are back in school and it’s going to be a safe environment for them,” Echevarria also said.

PPS is practicing social distancing, and everyone has to wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status.

The post Peoria’s new top cop among many to welcome kids back to the classroom appeared first on WEEK.


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