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

These little piggies stay home

Norman, who was spotted last week in Everett, is part of a trio kept as pets by the “pig whisperer.”

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital accepting adolescent patients

The facility is the first mental heallth unit in the county to offer in-patient services for children.

Within an hour, 2 planes crash-land at Paine Field

One simply landed hard and went off the end of a runway. Another crash involved unextended landing gear.

Ian Terry / The Herald Westbound cars merge from Highway 204 and 20th Street Southeast onto the trestle during the morning commute on Thursday, March 30 in Lake Stevens. Photo taken on 03302017
Pay a toll on US 2 trestle? 10,000 say no on social media

A GOP lawmaker’s chart shows theoretical toll rates of up to $6.30 to cross the trestle one way.

Teen murder suspect captured — then escapes and is recaptured

The 16-year-old is one of at least three young suspects in the shooting death of an Everett woman.

Most Read