New Police Liaisons Lowery, Sinnot

Emily Manning, Editor-in-Chief

South said goodbye to Officer Kneller, who retired after 18 years at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Detective Theron Lowery currently fills the position of police liaison. Lowery has been in law enforcement for 11 years throughout Illinois.
“I’ve been on the Joliet Police Department going on six years. I did my first five years in Richton Park for the Richton Park Police Department,” Lowery said.
In the past, Lowery has worked in high schools before and has enjoyed his time at each one.
“I always enjoy being around teenagers, just in terms of their energy and their honesty. I believe it’s important for them to know that there can be a positive relationship between law enforcement and the community,” Lowery said.
Since he is new to the school, he wants to become involved and increase the school climate.
“It’s clear that he wants to get to know the students, and he wants to get to know the staff. He wants to be a part of the community,” Lisa Smith, assistant principal, said.
Becoming involved in the community is a goal for Lowery.
“He makes a point to get to know our students and has even become involved in Black Student Association (BSA) as a co-sponsor,” Susanne Madding, dean, said.
Lowery said there are certain parts of the job he likes more than others.
“[My] favorite part of the job would be interacting with the students, being in the hallway, going to different classes, being out and about. [My] least favorite part of the job is being in my office,” Lowery said.
Lowery’s main focus, besides the security of the school, is to work with the students.
“I want to make every kid feel comfortable with being able to come to me and speak with me. So, when you have 2500 kids, that takes time,” Lowery said.
Students agree that he is a very approachable authority figure.
“He is very polite and respectful to both students and their parents. He speaks calmly and kindly and, in a way, everybody would understand. [He] makes you feel as though you are in a safe place and that you can talk about anything,” said an anonymous student who had met with him through a case with which she was a witness.
The safety of students and staff depends on Lowery’s vigilance and ability to react to any situation.
“My job is to be vigilant, [but another] part of my job as law enforcement is to also look for the students that fit the criteria that may need some help,” Lowery said.
Lowery hopes he can carry on being as involved as Kneller was in the students’ lives.
“From his legacy, I would continue the good things that I saw. I saw his interaction with kids, I saw his care for not only during the school day, but he was heavily involved after school whether it was after school programs or sporting events. As long as I’m involved, I think that’ll take care of itself,” Lowery said. Unfortunately, Lowery will be leaving December 13, for another opportunity, according to Lisa Smith, Assistant Principal for attendance and discipline. He will be replaced by Detective James Sinnott, who has 11 years of police experience.
“I’m very excited to come to the school. I feel like Detective Lowery has already paved the groundwork and has put some things in place,” Sinnot said.