Police are praising their school resource officers (SRO) for the recovery of three guns on school grounds Tuesday.

At both Hanford High School and Kamiakin High School, SRO's acted on tips, located the suspected students and recovered the guns without incident.

"The SRO at the school made contact with a 14-year-old student and removed him from the classroom safely. Once they did that, they were able to look into the backpack and found the two firearms inside the backpack." Kennewick Police Commander Aaron Clem elaborating on the incident at Kamiakin High School.

Kennewick School District (KSD) partners with Kennewick Police and the City of Kennewick to provide school resource officers, providing coverage for five middle schools and three high schools. Their role is to be a visible presence in schools while protecting students and making sure everyone goes home safe.

"We have SROs in the schools because they're able to build those trusting relationships with the students. So that if the student has either a problem in their own life, or they see a concern for the schools, the students or the staff, they have somebody that they trust, that they can go to and they can report those things." Commander Clem added.

SRO programs run similarly in the Pasco School and Richland School Districts with their city's respective police departments. Program goals include:

  • Provide a safer educational environment that is beneficial to learning
  • Reduction of criminal offenses committed by juveniles and young adults
  • Establish rapport with students
  • Establish rapport with parents, faculty, staff, administrators and other adults
  • Create and expand programs with vision and creativity to increase student participation, which benefits students, the school district and the community
  • Present a positive role image for students and adults

Meantime, the incidents at both schools are good reminders for all school aged children to report threats to a trusted adult or 9-1-1 so it can be safely investigated and addressed.

"The very best thing to do is to call 911 and report that. Let us deal with it as an emergency. If that is something that they don't feel comfortable doing. They can always reach out to a trusted adult." Commander Clem added.

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