PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County Schools now have another police officer on patrol. Officer Jordan Zamora started at the high school this week, allowing long-time School Resource Officer (SRO) Jeff Coffman to shift to the middle and elementary Schools. Crook County High Assistant Principal Joel Hoff tells KBND News, "Both the school board and the police department decided to collaborate to fund an additional resource officer, so one could focus primarily at our middle school and elementary school, while the other can focus at our traditional high school and our alternative high school, as well.
Hoff says SROs can investigate campus threats, but they also build rapport with students, "One thing that's been really cool to see is our school resource officers really focus on building those positive relationships with students, so that way, it's not just this 'I'm the Police Officer, you're in trouble,' they hopefully try to get to know students by name, so they're building those positive interactions between police and students so they're not seen as strangers or 'Hey, we're here to watch you'."
The salaries of both School Resource Officers are split evenly between the district and police department. "I think it's just really, really important and really cool to see our school district and the police department collaborate to make sure kids are safe," says Hoff, "Because I think that, at the end of the day, our number one priority is to make sure all Crook County schools feel safe and are safe here in our schools."
Approximately 2,800 students attend eight public schools in Crook County.