CITY OF WENATCHEE, WA
Mayor Earl Tilly

VIOLENCE PREVENTION

1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

Our School Resource Officer program assigns a uniformed officer to the Wenatchee School District, to work primarily in the High School and Middle Schools. The Officer facilitates all police activity directed at maintaining a peaceful school campus. The SRO acts as a liaison between the school administration, faculty and the Police. This Officer meets with all students returning from suspension, reviewing expectations and offering assistance where possible.

2. When was this program created and why?

The program has been in place for two years. This program was created as a replacement to the D.A.R.E. program. It was observed that while the D.A.R.E. program offered a highly positive interaction between police and student, officers were often being called as a resource to handle school criminal activity. After much discussion and with the school district support, D.A.R.E. was dropped and the SRO program started.

3. How is the program financed?

It is funded in total through the City budget. There is a desire by both the Police and the School District to add another Officer to the program, funded by the school district. The workload is such that a second officer could be used to carry this program to it's full potential. Reduced levels of all types of crime on school grounds are attributed to the SRO program in conjunction with a no-tolerance policy adopted and supported by all school staff, and students. The no-tolerance policy is only effective because of the on-site officer. The fast, decisive response to any unacceptable activity is considered key to the program's success.

4. How has the community responded to the program?

A recent faculty survey in the schools gave this effort overwhelming approval for creating an atmosphere of safety and learning on each campus. It was listed as a top priority by faculty as a program for retention in the coming year. In a series of community meetings sponsored by the School District, parents gave the program very high marks.

5. Contact person:

SRO Keith Sorensen

P.O. Box 519

Wenatchee WA 98807

(509)664-3900, FAX (509) 664-3923

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