PORTLAND, Ore. – City budget cuts mean there are four fewer School Resource Officers in Portland Schools, including at Lincoln High School.
The School Resource Officers (or SRO’s) are paid for by the Portland Police Bureau, and all other high schools in the Portland Public Schools district have an SRO.
Lincoln High School was chosen to lose its officer because of relatively lower problems, according to the Public Safety Advisor for Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, who says nobody wanted to cut SRO’s.
“They’re valuable they do a good job and they’re the best example I think of community policing I think we have and we need more of them. But we need more resources and we would love to see PPS step up and say let us partner with you,” said Baruti Artharee.
Lincoln students said they miss the officer they had for many reasons.
“It wasn’t just like having a police officer a guy walking around with a gun and uniform, he was much more than that to so many people; he was a friend. And you just notice kids now, they do things that they wouldn’t have done last year when he was here,” said Jeremiah Howard, a Junior at Lincoln.
One parent said the urban campus deserves an SRO, just like the other high schools in Portland.
“It just seems like common sense when you say it out loud that Portland Public Schools largest high school downtown doesn’t have a security officer, that just seems out of line and not right,” said Tim Price.
There is no decision yet on whether Lincoln will gain a School Resource Officer back this school year. But school leaders say they are discussing the issue with city leaders, looking for a solution.