Salvador Castro Middle School Shooting
School Resource Deputies and Their Role in Campus Safety
By Brian Moriguchi
The shooting at Salvador Castro Middle School yesterday is a reminder of the importance of providing a safe environment on school campuses. School resource deputies play an important part in keeping students safe. They not only address threats of violence, but these specially trained deputies help students cope with the stresses on school campuses including bullying and suicide.
Unfortunately, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, in the past, has advocated for the removal of school resource deputies from campuses. “I think it’s totally inappropriate to have any kind of armed, uniformed law enforcement officers on our campuses,” Kuehl said.
In contrast, Supervisor Janice Hahn stated, “Overall this is a positive program and another resource for our schools. It facilitates mentoring, developing healthy relationships between the community and local law enforcement, and opportunities for young people to interact with Sheriff’s deputies in a positive way.”
“Last year, 23 handguns and 8 rifles were recovered on or near school campuses,” states Rudy Perez, Vice President of the Los Angeles School Police Officers Association. “We were fortunate that one of our officers was on campus at Salvador Castro Middle School at the time of yesterday’s shooting. It probably saved the lives of both gunshot victims.”
Keeping our children safe should be our number one priority. School resource deputies play an integral role in school campus safety and provide a valuable resource to our children. We need to advocate for more school resource deputies, not less.
PPOA represents 9,000 law enforcement professionals, including Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employees, both sworn and non-sworn. Contact Brian Moriguchi at (323) 261-3010 or email@example.com for further comment.
Brian Moriguchi is president of the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association and the California Coalition of Law Enforcement Associations.