FUNDING FALLS SHORT FOR SCHOOL COP

October 01, 2001 12:00 am

By Gary Fletcher

Observer Staff Writer

ENTERPRISE Wallowa County wont get any money to hire a police officer for the countys schools.

And its not the only county left out of a $2.9 million COPS Schools grant program: No Eastern Oregon county will get any of the new money.

Undersheriff Steve Rogers said he was disappointed.

It would have served all three school districts, Rogers said. It all went to the West side.

Twenty-four school resource officers have been funded for places like Linn County, Amity, Salem, Sutherlin, Central Point, and 15 officers will be assigned in the Portland area.

The U.S. Department of Justice grant will fund the officers for three years, if the participating municipalities guarantee employment for another year.

In Wallowa County, a reserve deputy retired Nevada policeman Bob Jones has volunteered in the Wallowa School District for the past year. The sheriffs department had hoped to hire him full-time to work the countys three school districts.

Rogers said the resource officers job would give a positive police role model for students, as well as provide law enforcement.

Rogers immediately called the offices of the two Oregon senators who had issued the announcement.

U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith has assured Rogers that the application will be kept active and will be considered for funding during the next dispersal.

Rogers hopes that may be as soon as February.

Rogers said he has yet to hear from U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden.

Union County receives some funds for school-based officers.