Yakima Schools Chief Sends Note to Parents About Tragedy
We must protect the city. The words of Yakima Police Capt. Jay Seely when asked why the Yakima Police Department no longer has armed resource officers at city middle schools. Seely says in the past the department had enough officers to cover all city areas and place officers at city high schools and middle schools. But that's no longer the case. Now armed officers are now at Davis and Eisenhower High Schools.
The shortages have meant the department has had to make tough decisions
The city is short 12 to 14 officers. That shortage not only forced the cancellation of middle school resource officers but also forced the city to cancel the traffic unit last year. There was hope that the unit could be started again in June but Seely says that won't happen. He's hoping to have a fully staffed police force by the end of the year. Seely says two armed resource officers do work at both Davis and Eisenhower High Schools. He also says the department works closely with the Yakima School District in hardening entrances to schools and creating security plans. Seely says the district recently hired a retired officer to coordinate private security in the district.
Yakima Schools Superintendent Dr. Trevor Greene says his heart is broken
The Yakima School District Superintendent Dr. Trevor Greene sent an email to parents in the district on Tuesday;
"Like all of yours, my heart is heavy and broken by the news of the senseless shooting and death of at least 19 children and at least two adults at a Texas elementary school today. It pains me to share information about this tragedy, the 30th school shooting in our country in 2022 and the deadliest since the Florida shooting in 2018. Our schools are supposed to be a place of discovery and joy, a location filled with exploration and growth and a safe and peaceful home away from home. Never a place of horrific disaster. I want to assure our staff and families that YSD has a robust safety and security team who work hard every day to protect the well-being of our school’s precious occupants. We call on our school community to work together to keep our schools peaceful and safe by reporting any signs of suspicious activity or behavior to our school or district staff. I wish there were something I could say or do to make this awful situation better, but there just isn’t. The only thing we can do at this moment is to send our thoughts, support, prayers, light - or however you express love and care - to the people affected by today’s incomprehensible tragedy."
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