City council commits to School Resource Officer program - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City council commits to School Resource Officer program

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima city council votes to pick-up a part of the tab for the School Resource Officer program, after a recommendation from the Public Safety Committee.

Council made the decision to pay for 25-percent of the cost to fund the SRO program. The Yakima School District will cover the other 75-percent of the cost.

Currently, the school district pays $380,000, which funds four Yakima police officers. The city committed to helping pay for the rest of the 2010 school year. This will be done by not filling an open police officer position, something that made Mayor Micah Cawley hesitant.

"The SRO program is very important, I didn't like the city to have to step-up the 25-percent, but there's a lot of crime and issues related to students," said Cawley.

The SRO program funds an officer for each Yakima high school and an officer for two of the four middle schools. Started in '95, funding for the program has shifted between the city and school district over the years depending on budget.

Also mentioned at council Tuesday night, Yakima's crime analyst says crime dropped ten-percent from 2008 to 2009.