The cost of school resource officers in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The school resource officers who confronted Jared Padgett after he opened fire inside Reynolds High School have been credited with averting what could have been an even bigger tragedy.

Troutdale has two SROs in their high school. Portland has 12 school resource officers for the entire 50,000-student district.

If Portland wanted to have two SROs in each of their 10 high schools, plus 13 alternative high schools in the area, it would cost about $1.5 million.

A memorial at the Reynolds High School sign in Troutdale, one day after a shooting at the school. June 11, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
A memorial at the Reynolds High School sign in Troutdale, one day after a shooting at the school. June 11, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

The shooting at Reynolds High School “amplified the feeling that an officer at a school can keep kids safe,” PPB Sgt. Pete Simpson told KOIN 6 News. “We do as much as we can with the resource to have have officers near and in schools when kids are there.”

It costs about $100,000 to staff one full-time SRO position, based on a veteran officer’s salary, benefits and other costs. Adding 15 SROs — one for each high school — equals $1.5 million.

“If there were monies raised and a rising tide of ‘We want to pay for this,’ then I’m certian the police bureau would listen and the city of Portland would look at that as a potential way to get more officers in the schools,” Simpson said.

Those numbers do not include private schools, some of which get regular visits from Portland SROs.

blog comments powered by Disqus