Bellevue police officers will be stationed at each of the city’s four high schools during the next school year, not because of an increase in violence or thefts at the schools but to provide security.
The school district will pay the city $57,500 during the first year of the program, and save $140,000 it now spends on campus security monitors at Bellevue, Newport, Interlake and Sammamish high schools.
The new program was approved by the City Council last week and is expected to be approved by the school board on Tuesday.
“I like everything about it,” Police Chief Jim Montgomery said. “This is a community-based program that allows us to work closely with the schools and the kids and their parents to make schools safer.”
“We overall feel this will be at least as strong a program, and it’s certainly costing us less,” Howard Johnson, deputy school superintendent, said of the program to replace security monitors with police officers.
Officers will be armed and make arrests if necessary, deal with incidents on or near campus and provide security, investigate crimes and participate in school life.
“They are not intended to be armed guards. They are there to be a resource,” Montgomery said.
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