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School district, Multnomah County Sheriff working on agreement to supply SROs

PMG PHOTO - Reynolds School District is working on an agreement that would return Mutlnomah County Sheriff SROs to its schools. With the Gresham Police Department pausing all its Student Resource Officer (SRO) programs this fall due to a staffing shortage, the Reynolds School District is working with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office to fill the vacancy.

In the 2021-22 school year, the district had one SRO stationed at H.B. Lee Middle School. The district's lone officer was supplied by the Gresham Police Department.

To replace the officer, the district is working with the Sheriff's Office to add SRO(s) to oversee multiple schools in the district.

"The new contract would replace the Gresham Police's SRO," said Steve Padilla, Reynolds School District's Assistant Director of Public Relations and Partnerships. "The new SRO(s) would focus on Reynolds Middle School, Reynolds High School, Reynolds Learning Academy and if possible H.B. Lee Middle and Walt Morey Middle School."

Well before agreeing to work with sheriff's office, the district reached out to families, students and staff to gage the interest on continuing the SRO program through surveys. Using the surveys' data, the district's school board saw that there was significant interest in continuing the program and has been working on creating an intergovernmental agreement between the district and a law enforcement agency.

"Now, we are just waiting on Multnomah County Sheriffs to do their own process to see if they can fill our need," Padilla said. "We would love to have three officers, but we are just not sure if that will be possible."

With the districts desire for SROs shown, Padilla said the district is waiting for the County Sheriffs to conduct their own process to figure out what the agency can provide. No timeline has been established for the agreement to be completed.

In a comment about the proposed contract, Multnomah County Sheriff stated that the agreement still requires a public vote by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The contract is expected to be presented to the BOCC in September.

Besides working on obtaining resource officers, Padilla said the district has made major strides in hiring school psychologists, counselors and supplying more resources for teachers to handle and spot social/emotional struggles in their students.

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