REDMOND, OR -- Central Oregon’s Safe Schools Alliance (SSA) celebrates 20 years of partnerships, Wednesday. The SSA was established in 1998, following the deadly shooting at Thurston High in Springfield, OR. The tri-county alliance was one of the first of its kind in the country, and is now considered a model for other regions to improve school safety.
SSA partners include Bend-La Pine Schools, Crook County School District, Culver School District, Redmond School District, Sisters School District, High Desert Education Service District (ESD), Jefferson County School District, St. Francis School, Trinity Lutheran School, Cascades Academy, St. Thomas Academy, Bend Police, Prineville Police, Redmond Police, Crook County Sheriff's Office, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Sunriver Police and Warm Springs Tribal Police. Also involved are the Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson County District Attorneys' offices, Deschutes County Juvenile Justice and Public Health, and Fire Departments in Bend, Redmond and Sunriver.
Students, Police Chiefs, Sheriffs, District Attorneys and school superintendents, as well as mental health professionals and other regional leaders will take part in an event recognizing the milestone. That celebration starts at 8 a.m. Wednesday, at High Desert ESD in Redmond. Longtime local attorney Sharon Smith and former Deschutes County D.A., two of the alliance's founders, will keynote the event.