Word is school resource officers are safe for now

By on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

HERMISTON – The Hermiston Police Department has school resource officers serving every grade, from kindergarten through seniors in high school. For that reason, Chief Jason Edmiston was worried about Senate Bill 238, which would ban the programs throughout the state. Those worries have been quelled, at least for this year.

Hermiston School Superintendent Tricia Mooney forwarded Edmiston some good news.

“I received an updated email saying that the bill was not going to be put forward for a vote this session,” he said.

Mooney’s email was from the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators Deputy Executive Director Morgan Allen discussing a meeting with Education Committee Chairman Sen. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland).

“We shared the concerns we have heard from local districts and relayed the information many of you about your SRO programs and the efforts you have made to create programs that respect students and communities,” Allen wrote, “He indicated he does not plan on holding a vote on the bill this session.”

Edmiston hopes programs like the one in the Hermiston School District make an impact in years to come. The department now has three SROs serving primary and secondary students.

“Our department has been blessed to have an incredible relationship with the Hermiston School District dating back to 1994 when the first school resource officer was put in at the high school,” he said.

HPD graphic by Ashbeck Design