Sheriff’s new school safety program officially begins

MILL CREEK — An assembly at Woodside Elementary near Mill Creek on Friday marked the launch of the Snohomish County sheriff’s new School Services Unit.

A sergeant and five deputies were pulled from existing units to work as school safety officers serving more than 100 schools in unincorporated county and in cities that contract with the sheriff’s office for police services.

Their job is different from sheriff’s school resource officers, who are typically assigned to one school or a small handful of schools, sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said. The school resource officers will share a supervisor with the school services deputies.

Washington schools Superintendent Randy Dorn joined several local police and school leaders at the assembly.

Sheriff John Lovick, school services unit Sgt. Scott Parker and Woodside students and staff talked with reporters afterward.

The school services deputies want to become part of the greater schools community, Parker said. They will serve as enforcement officers but also aspire to become mentors and friends, he said.

“It just builds those relationships and builds that trust in our school communities,” he said.

Kids at Woodside often are reminded they are surrounded by leaders they can go to if something is wrong, Principal Betty Cobbs said. The school services deputies will become some of those leaders, she said.

Lovick wanted to create the special unit after the Newtown shooting at a Connecticut elementary school in December, he said.

Some of Woodside’s students and their parents also talked about the fear they felt after that shooting.

Schools all over have been reviewing their procedures and looking for ways to make campuses safer, Cobbs said.

The school services unit is believed to be the first of its type in Washington, the sheriff said.

The unit has a big job, and Lovick hopes it grows with time, he said.

“You guys are going to work your tails off,” he told the deputies.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
How can Everett Station become a vibrant part of city?

A neighborhood alliance focused on long-term revitalization will update the public Tuesday.

Agency didn’t expect such big demand for needle clean-up kits

The Snohomish Health District ran out of supplies quickly, but more are arriving daily.

EvCC teachers take their contract concerns to the board

Their union says negotiations have been disappointingly slow. The community college isn’t commenting.

Here’s what to do if you want to vote and aren’t registered

Oct. 30 is the deadline for new-voter registration in time for the November election.

Two teens struck by truck in Lynnwood

The teens, between the ages of 14 and 16, were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Luring attempt reported in Mountlake Terrace

The driver allegedly instructed a boy to get in the truck and help grab a scooter he was giving away.

Injured hiker rescued near Granite Falls

Woman fell and hit her head on a rock Saturday, and her condition worsened overnight.

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

Crews recover body of man who fell over Wallace Falls

The area where the man fell is called Sky Valley Lookout, 2.4 miles from the parking lot.

Most Read