Due to unforeseen staffing shortages within the College Place Police Department, College Place Public Schools will be without its School Resource Officer (SRO) position for the 2022-2023 school year. The SRO program, which has been in effect in the district for the past five years, has provided safety and security to the students, staff, and community surrounding the three schools. Though the district was expecting a change in its program with the departure of Officer Joey Langlois accepting a promotion within the police department, it didn’t see this coming. Unfilled positions and the sudden departure of a pair of officers created the need to keep all officers on patrol in the community.
“We have an incredible working relationship with CPPD and Chief Tomaras. We were working on our transition plan after Officer Langlois when the department was met with this unfortunate obstacle. The SRO position is a highly valued team member in our system and we are sad to lose it. But, we understand the situation the department is in and look forward to the time when we can once again have the position,” stated Superintendent Jim Fry
The position had been located onsite at Sager Middle School and spent time ensuring the safety in and around each school full time throughout the school year. The board-approved contract shares the position with CPPD utilizing the officer during the times of year when school is not in session. The SRO handles law infractions within the school, but predominately spends time on school safety measures and fostering positive relationships with children encouraging them to make good choices.
College Place Police Department Chief Troy Tomaras said, “Officers will still be actively involved in the schools; it will just look different until our staffing levels improve.” “School safety is a priority for the College Place Police Department,” added Tomaras.
College Place Public Schools is looking at temporary solutions for the year to continue to keep kids safe, provide additional campus supervision, and to foster positive relationships with students across the district. College Place Police Department will continue to make regular visits to College Place schools and be a presence at all extracurricular and large community events. “The officers in CPPD are always welcome in our schools and are an extension of us,” commented Superintendent Fry.