Staffing shortages leave College Place Public Schools without a Resource Officer

College Place
Image credit: College Place Police Department, Facebook

COLLEGE PLACE, Wash. — For the last five years, the College Place Police Department (CPPD) has assigned a School Resource Officer (SROs) to  oversee security and keep students safe. Now, due to staffing shortages within the police department, the community’s public schools will be without an SRO during the 2022-23 school year.

The College Place School District announced on Tuesday morning that its previous SRO,  Officer Joey Langlois, will no longer fill the role after accepting a promotion within the police department. While the school district anticipated a change of the guard, it wasn’t expecting the SRO position to go unfilled entirely.

However, the CPPD is experiencing a handful of vacancies that require all current officers to patrol the community. It didn’t help that two other officers suddenly departed from the CPPD, leaving even more responsibility for the limited staff remaining.

“We were working on our transition plan after Officer Langlois when the department was met with this unfortunate obstacle,” Superintendent Jim Fry said. “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.”

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Now, College Place school leaders are exploring temporary solutions to address security for the looming school year. Even without a dedicated officer on-site, College Place Police Chief Troy Tomaras says his group won’t leave the public school system out to dry.

“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,” Chief Tomaras said.

In the past, the CPPD School Resource Officer was stationed at Sager Middle School and oversaw security at all three schools in the community. While one of its primary duties is to handle law infractions within the school system, the SRO spent most of its time overseeing school security measures and building relationships with children across the community.

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