Napa PD Wants Funding to Hire Second Middle School Resource Officer


Napa Valley Register

Napa Police chief Robert Plummer told a gathering of parents at Vintage High School that a new school resource officer will be among his priorities for the coming budget request.

Approximately a month after a threatened mass shooting at River Middle School, which Harvest shares a campus with, the Napa Police Department is trying to receive funding to hire a second officer to work in middle schools in the NVUSD, according to Napa Police Chief Robert Plummer.

Following the Jan. 2 arrest of a 14-year-old River student after threats of a mass shooting at River or Vintage High School, the Napa Police scheduled a meeting on school safety, in which Robert Plummer spoke and in response to a parent’s inquiry as to whether the department has considered allocating more resources to schools.

There are three officers who currently work with students in Napa Schools, one for the four middle schools, one for Napa High School, and one for Vintage. The Napa Police estimates it will need $150,000 to $180,000 to hire another school resource officer, said spokesperson Lt. Chase Haag.

“As the community grows, as the school district grows, as more violence is prevalent … I think it’s important to have that positive police interaction with students,” Plummer told over 50 parents in the Vintage High School’s theater. NVUSD officials also spoke about safety procedures and what they are going to do to for school safety going forward into the year.

Officers were asked questions about the process of the recent investigation but were unable to share much information because of the sensitive topic and the age of the suspect. Many students are scared to speak up about situations like this because they are afraid of being called a snitch, and Sgt. Andrew Hess encouraged parents to have their children get to know resource officers at their schools.

I spoke to School Resource Officer Koford and asked him a few questions about school safety and his experience interacting with students on the four campuses in the district. I asked him if hiring a second resource officer for middle school campuses in the NVUSD would benefit their security, and he said, “Yes, I do. It would definitely benefit the schools’ security because the response time would be much shorter if there was an incident.”

Regarding if his experience interacting with students on campus was positive, he said, “Yes, one of the reasons I took this assignment was to have more positive experiences throughout the day.” I also asked him about the importance of Say Something week, an event organized by the Sandy Hook Promise organization, which was created after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting  that occurred on December 14, 2012, and was made to build a national movement of parents, schools and community organizations engaged and empowered to deliver gun violence prevention programs. He replied, “It is extremely important, if nobody reports anything to me, I can only take care of what I can see.”

Students are also encouraged to text police about school-related concerns by texting “707 Safe” and their message to Tip411. Tips are referred to school resource officers, counselors, teachers and parents.