This year, the district will bring on a newly hired Sergeant from YPD to oversee security at all of our campuses
"The shootings the last couple of years have been just terrible. You always think about it, you never know if its going to happen here next. You just don't know," said Diana Rogers, a Yakima grandmother.
Diana Rogers is raising her grandson Matthew, who will be entering first grade in two weeks. Because Matthew is an autistic student, she is especially worried about his safety and places a great deal of trust in our school system.
"To keep them safe and out of harms way at all times, even on the bus to and from school," said Rogers.
It's safety concerns from parents like Diana, that have brought the Yakima School district to bring on a Sergeant from YPD to oversee the seven resource officers already on the campuses.
"A lot of his job in the beginning particularly will be about threat assessment, looking at something through a clinical eye of a police officer, rather than in my eye, I always try to look at things through kind of an educational lense, he'll try to help us become a harder target," said Dr. Elaine Beraza, Yakima Schools Superintendent.
The new sergeant is Lloyd George. He'll have an office at Ridgeview, from where he will be able to get to any of the campuses quickly. He will keep the district up to date on the latest security research, and work with security staff, teachers, and students.
School officials told me they don't intend to share publicly all of the specific changes they are making, as that would compromise school safety.
"Parents really entrust their children to us for the largest part of the day, and they really expect those kids to be safe and secure," said Dr. Beraza.
Diana couldn't agree more, and thinks the $100,000 the district will spend for the new Sergeant is well worth it.
"I don't think you can put a price on your child's safety, you can't," said Rogers.
Other safety changes to Yakima schools include making the campuses more closed off by limiting the points of entry.