In 2007, using grant funds from The Chicago Community Trust, the Skokie Police Department hosted an “International Youth Police Academy” for Skokie young people. One of the attendees, Michelle Barkho, was featured in photo that was part of a Chicago Tribune article on the academy. The picture showed Barkho, then in middle school, with Skokie Police Officer Terrance Alexander timing vehicle speeds using a radar gun.
Fast forward to 2019, and Barkho, a current volunteer with the Skokie Police Department, is preparing to take the exam next month to become a Skokie Police Officer. “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to be educated about law enforcement at such a young age, by such an incredible Department. My passion began then, 12 years ago, and will never stop growing. I’m preparing to take the exam in hopes of becoming a part of Skokie’s family that proudly serve and protect every day,” said Barkho.
“The international youth police academies were tremendous community engagement opportunities,” says Alexander, who will retire this week after 22 years as a Skokie Police Officer. “Many of the Skokie youth who attended went on to great futures, including Michelle. As I leave my position in Skokie, I am glad to know that people with her skill and compassion are interested in continuing to serve and protect this wonderful community.”
In addition to his involvement with the youth police academy programs, Alexander served as a School Resource Officer at a number of grammar and middle schools in Skokie, imparting important lessons of safety, life skills and personal achievement to students in need of mentoring. To commemorate Alexander’s retirement, he and Barkho recently staged a reenactment of the radar gun instruction photo featured in the 2007 newspaper article.
Congratulations on your retirement, Officer Alexander, and thank you for your service to the community!