AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Staff shortages at the Aurora Police Department are causing other agencies to step in and help at some of the area schools with school resources officers.
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Starting Monday, Nov. 1, at least six officers from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office are going to be help monitor three high schools, including Grandview High School, Cherokee Trail High School and Smoky Hill High School. That’s because the police department, which normally staffs the schools, doesn’t have enough officers to help. It’s a partnership between both agencies, as well as the Cherry Creek School District. The county’s sheriff’s office reached out to the police department, once they heard about the issue.
“This is just a time where we stepped up and we said ‘Hey, how can we help you?’,” said Ginger Delgado, a spokesperson with the sheriff’s office. “’You guys need us, you’re short-staffed and you may not have the ability to staff these schools in the way that you have in the past.’”
The sheriff’s office is stepping in to provide six student resource officers to help secure and monitor area campuses, with two officers at each school. Matthew Longshore said the staff shortages are causing the department to cut back on certain resources, like school officers, which the department said is challenging.
“There’s the pandemic, there’s the civil unrest, there’s families that just don’t think it’s worth it for their loved ones to be put in danger,” Longshore said.READ MORE: Denver Weather: 'No Snow November' Becomes 'Dry December' This Week
Longshore said the police department doesn’t want to sacrifice student safety, because of the lack of officers.
“It’s not just for law enforcement purposes, it’s building relationships. It’s the D.A.R.E. program, or gang intervention or just being a trusted voice, a person you can talk to,” said Longshore.
The partnership is going to continue until Jan. 1. After that, the Aurora City Council is expected to address the problem. The student resource officers that the department still has will continue at their assigned schools. And with more than 2000 students at each school, both agencies said it’s about the greater good of the community.MORE NEWS: Aurora Mother Whose Child Was Killed in 1995 Shooting Disturbed, Tired of Youth Violence After 5 Shot Over The Weekend
“We are committed to the safety of these students, and we are committed to the safety of this community,” Delgado said.