Portland Gets Rid of School Resource Officers After George Floyd Death
Written by Luis Miguel
Have would-be school shooters and other criminals just been given the green light in Portland?
Portland Public Schools, the largest school district in Oregon, announced this week that, in response to the death of George Floyd, it will no longer use school resource officers on its campuses, making it one of a number of districts from Minnesota to Colorado to re-examine its relationship with law enforcement.
Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero wrote on Twitter that Portland Public Schools will end the “regular presence” of officers at schools in favor of hiring more social workers and counselors.
The time is now. With new proposed investments in direct student supports (social workers, counselors, culturally-specific partnerships & more), I am discontinuing the regular presence of School Resource Officers @PPSConnect. We need to re-examine our relationship with the PPB.
While the presence of more counselors and social workers may be helpful to some students, the superintendent’s decision begs the question: Will social workers and counselors be able to protect students the next time an armed miscreant attempts to shoot up a school?
Guerrero’s announcement comes in the light of mass protests, riots, vandalism, looting, and arson taking place around the country over Floyd’s death after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Minneapolis schools severed ties with school resource officers earlier this week. Districts in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Denver, Colorado, are considering doing the same.
Portland Public Schools has over 49,000 students. Governor Kate Brown on Thursday ordered all flags flown at half-mast to honor Floyd, whose memorial was held on Thursday. Police described a group of “select agitators” in the city’s downtown setting fires and vandalizing businesses.
Police Chief Jami Resch thanked protesters who remained peaceful and said her officers will continue to apprehend those who destroy and steal private property:
Tonight was a great example of a safe and responsible demonstration. This speaks to the testament of the thousands of participants and sends a powerful message. I greatly appreciate the community for expressing themselves while respecting others.
We have witnessed a pattern of behavior in the past several days where select agitators remain and target the police, engage in crimes, and cause disorder. We will continue our efforts to identify, arrest, and hold responsible those who engage in crimes in our city.
Police have often been targeted when the Floyd protests have turned violent, with officers being assaulted and even fired upon.
In Missouri, 77-year-old David Dorn, a retired St. Louis police captain turned small-town police chief, was shot and killed outside a pawn shop on Tuesday when he tried to stop looters affiliated with the George Floyd protests. Dorn was black.
Law Enforcement Today reports receiving accounts from police throughout the country who claim that officers are being followed to their homes, stalked in their neighborhoods, and receiving threats to their families.
“We expect danger when on the job,” said one sergeant. “But this is different. They are threatening to burn down our homes and kill our families.”
Officials have also told us that they’re instructing officers to make other changes, such as making sure uniforms aren’t hanging in personal vehicles while driving into work.
“Effective starting this past weekend, no police vehicles — including unmarked vehicles — will be brought up,” one Captain told Law Enforcement Today. “This isn’t to punish our guys — it’s to protect them and their families.”
Nationwide, 43 percent of public schools had an armed law-enforcement officer present at least once a week in the 2015-2016 school year, according to statistics released by the National Center for Education Statistics.
Critics of school resource officers argue that a police presence at schools may lead to the criminalization of students, particularly of ethnic minorities.
While a case can certainly be made that abuse can occur when campus officers are involved in disciplinary issues unrelated to illegal activity and that the scope of their role should be limited to protecting the lives of students, completely removing them from schools puts young lives at risk, particularly in an age in which school shootings are a constant threat — one the political Left made their number one concern not long ago.
Nevertheless, many are using George Floyd’s death to antagonize police, with calls to “defund police” gaining traction. Some localities are putting the phrase into effect; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday that he’s throwing out plans for a police budget hike, while in New York, more than 40 city council candidates are calling for a $1 billion cut to the NYPD’s budget.
Sadly, because minorities and the poor often live in communities afflicted with crime, calls to “defund police” will only have the effect of endangering those they are intended to protect.
Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.
Courtesy of The New American