My Why - Officer Lukasz Czapla, School Resource Officer

September 1, 2023

Topic: My Why

Officer Lukasz Czapla of the Wheeling Police Department, who will serve as the school resource officer for London, Field, Riley and Tarkington for the 2023-24 school year

A move from Poland to the U.S. when Lukasz Czapla was 14 years old was the impetus for helping other students navigate the school environment. He and his family landed in LaSalle-Peru, Illinois where he didn’t know a word of English. Help from a teacher who knew German and was married to a Polish woman helped Czapla slowly learn the language – that and watching the TV show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Another move to the northwest suburbs and graduation from Schaumburg H.S. led him to study criminal justice at Harper College. 

He’s been with the Wheeling Police Department for 15 years and previously served as the School Resource Officer (SRO) for seven of the CCSD21 schools. In his new role, he will serve London MIddle School and the feeders: Field, Riley and Tarkington Elementary Schools.  “I successfully launched a program called Lunch with a Cop where I built relationships with the kids while involving them in sports, coaching soccer and helping them handle their school journey,” said Czapla. In fact, he recently ran into a Wheeling H.S. student who was frequently getting into trouble only to find out that he had straightened out his life, due to some of the mentoring and guidance from Officer Czapla. 

In his spare time, Czapla is a fitness fanatic, competing in cross fit competitions, Special Olympics and is currently training for his first ever half marathon, scheduled for February 2024. He also likes to fish and spend time with his family. 

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