Safety is a top priority for Evergreen and Vancouver public school districts. For several years, our districts have partnered with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Vancouver Police Department to provide school resource officers in each of our comprehensive high schools.
The partnership provided a visible level of safety in our schools. The SROs helped to build connections between law enforcement, students and school employees. In addition, SROs responded to emergencies at their assigned schools as well as nearby schools.
When schools closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic and remained in a hybrid of remote and in-person learning throughout the 2020-21 school year, SRO assignments weren’t required. Due to the impact of the pandemic and increased staffing needs at CCSO and VPD, contractual agreements for SROs weren’t renewed for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.
While Evergreen and Vancouver won’t have the presence of uniformed SROs in schools this year, safety and security will remain a top priority. The number of Vancouver district resource officers and Evergreen campus security officers available to respond to school and district needs will be increased. These officers will continue to receive annual professional training.
“The Sheriff’s Office is committed to the safety and security of our schools and students,” said CCSO Under Sheriff John Chapman. “We look forward to maintaining the connections and relationships we have built with our local school staff and administrators. We’re prepared to respond to calls for service to the schools within our jurisdictional boundaries.”
The districts also intend to continue working together with CCSO and VPD in other ways, including these potential areas of collaboration:
- Providing contact information for normally scheduled day patrol officers within our school boundaries;
- Allowing law enforcement to hold morning briefing sessions at our schools on a rotating basis to familiarize patrol officers with our schools and administrators; and,
- Providing training to our school principals on how to assist an arriving law enforcement officer when a call is placed for assistance.
“The Vancouver Police Department is grateful for the relationships our staff have built with school faculty and administration over the years,” said Vancouver Police Department Assistant Chief Troy Price. “We will continue to maintain public safety for the students and schools within the city of Vancouver through community outreach and response to calls for service.”
Evergreen and Vancouver school districts look forward to a continued partnership with CCSO and VPD in 2021-22 and beyond.