School Shootings in WA a Big Concern in Yakima
One person was shot at the University of North Carolina on Monday as students sheltered in place as police responded. It's another shooting in a series of school shootings around the country that continue to threaten safety at schools. So far this year US authorities say 27 school shootings have been reported in the United States.
WHILE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN THE STATE EMPLOY SECURITY OR POLICE FORCES IT'S DIFFERENT IN YAKIMA
Many colleges and universities have their own police agencies or security forces which is the case with both Yakima Valley College and Central Washington University in Ellensburg.
In high schools in the state it's a different story.
Violence is always a concern in Yakima as police work with school districts to increase security to try and prevent a tragic shooting.
YAKIMA POLICE RESOURCE OFFICERS WORK IN AREA HIGH SCHOOLS
In Washington state resource/police officers are stationed at schools around the state.
But not all schools in the Yakima School District are protected by resource officers.
In the past Yakima Police Resource Officers were active in area middle schools but that's no longer the case.
YAKIMA IS STILL SHORT ON OFFICERS AND THAT IMPACTS SECURITY
Capt. Jay Seely says in the past the department had enough officers to cover all city areas and place officers at city high schools and middle schools. That's not the case today. The city police department is still short on the number of available Officers.
That shortage not only forced the cancellation of middle school resource officers but also forced the city to cancel the traffic unit in 2021. The unit was built back up after traffic problems increased in 2022. Seely says they do work closely with the Yakima School District in hardening entrances to schools. Seely says the district has hired a retired officer to coordinate private security in the district.