July 12, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--The Board of Supervisors moved this week to bolster campus safety and reduce truancies at schools in unincorporated parts of the county.
The board unanimously approved a recommendation from Chairman Bill Horn and Supervisor Dianne Jacob to team up with school districts to post Sheriff’s Department and Probation Department officers on many campuses.
“School safety and keeping kids out of trouble are always critical concerns,” said Supervisor Jacob. “In this day and age, we need to make sure we’re doing all we can to keep our campuses secure. This initiative also aims to reduce truancies and keep our youth off the streets and in the classroom.”
Sheriff’s Department resource officers would be assigned to as many as 23 high schools, spread over 10 districts. The county hopes to work with the Ramona Unified, Vista Unified, Fallbrook Union and Jamul-Dulzura Union school districts and others.
“Our children need a safe learning environment where they know someone is looking out for them,” said Chairman Horn. “The Student Resource Officers will also help build trust and positive relationships between students and law enforcement.”
The county also plans to team up with districts to add probation officers to K-through-8 campuses and other schools to cut truancies. At one time, the county had contracts with eight districts to provide these officers, but many of the contracts were dropped due to a decline in state funding.
The item approved this week gives county staff 90 days to work with the Sheriff’s Department and Probation Department to find ways to put officers in schools.
“Given the current economic climate, the time is right to look at reinvigorating these programs to better protect our children and to provide a safer learning environment,” Chairman Horn and Supervisor Jacob say in their formal recommendation.