SAN DIEGO–Nine school districts within San Diego County’s unincorporated areas will soon have Sheriff’s deputies on their middle school and high school campuses.
The Board of Supervisors approved funding to expand the Sheriff’s School Resource Officers (SROs) and Truancy Intervention Probation Officers (TIPOs) programs based on recommendations made by Chairman Bill Horn and Supervisor Dianne Jacob.
Eight Sheriff’s deputies will be assigned to these districts during the current school year; Ramona Unified School District, Julian Union High School District, Mountain Empire Unified School District, Grossmont Union High School District, Borrego Springs Unified School District, Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District, Warner Unified School District, Fallbrook Union High School District and Vista Unified High School District.
“School Resource Officers have been on San Diego school campuses for 20 years and the program has been extremely successful,” says Chairman Bill Horn. “It is high time all unincorporated-area schools enjoy the same opportunities to curb teenage delinquency and build positive relationships.”
SROs help create safe campuses and neighborhoods by reinforcing friendly interaction between teens and law enforcement and offering early intervention when it comes to drug and gang activity. TIPOs support the schools and education by monitoring students who are truant and showing signs of at-risk behavior and keeping them in class and learning.
“Our region, unfortunately, has been no stranger to campus violence and we need to do all we can to keep our campuses secure,” says Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “Parents need to know their kids are not only learning while in the classroom, but that they are safe.”
This year’s program is a pilot phase and will be paid for by the County’s Public Safety Group. For future years, the Sheriff’s Department plans to negotiate cost-sharing agreements with the school districts.