Kennewick School District Hires School Safety Officers for Elementary Schools | News | #schoolsaftey

KENNEWICK, Wash.- The Kennewick School District (K.S.D.) passed a levy that included a budget for School Safety Officers (S.S.O’s) in Kennewick Elementary school’s. 

The addition of S.S.O’s started this new school year. 

K.S.D S.S.O Jeff Quackenbush is one of the new hires in this position.

“The way the world is going now we feel that the elementary schools are a prime place for security and safety issues that are encountered and need to be taken care of,” Quackenbush said. 

Quackenbush has nearly 44 years of security and law enforcement experience from being in the military to working at the Sheriff’s department. 

“A law enforcement certificate from an accredited academy, police academy. That’s the main requirement that they have to have,” Quackenbush said.

According to K.S.D with the proper certification, applicant’s must pass background checks, have an interview and hands on law enforcement experience is preferred. 

Also according to K.S.D, the S.S.O’s are directly partnered with the Kennewick Police Department (K.P.D.) to ensure proper training. The S.S.O’s can also directly dispatch calls through K.P.D. to have a quicker response time in case of an emergency. 

Quackenbush said that K.S.D currently has five S.S.O’s.

“We still don’t have enough for an individual officer at each school. I believe there’s 17 elementary schools in the district. We’re currently covering two to three schools,” Quackenbush said. 

Kennewick mom Brittany Gledhill, who has three children currently enrolled in Kennewick schools, said there is so much benefit to having someone in the schools who’s only job is to protect students. 

“I just think from the perspective of my children growing up and having a good relationship with an officer and to have a really positive relationship with the Police Department in our community,” Gledhill said. 

Quackenbush adds that the response to having S.S.O’s in schools has been good so far. 

“I’ve had numerous parents come up to tell me thank you and tell me how much more safe they feel sending their children to school when we have a safety officer here,” Quackenbush said. 

To learn more about the S.S.O position in K.S.D, view the application here.

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