Olympia high school losing on-campus police presence



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Posted on December 20, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 20 at 7:40 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The school resource officer at Olympia High School has been reassigned to patrol the community.

A police spokesperson said an "unprecedented" number of retirements and illnesses have caused a staffing shortage within the department.

"The police department feels it is an extremely valuable position, we just needed to figure out the best strategy for providing security throughout the city," said police spokesperson Laura Wohl.

Principal Matt Grant said it's "disappointing" to lose the officer, but he said the district will be hiring another unarmed security guard to ensure the campus is safe.

Keith Thuline said he will miss his partner in the campus halls, especially if anything bad happens.

"In an emergency situation we'll be hurting a little bit more because if they're immediately here and responding it's great to have them here," said Thuline.

Suzanne Vasquez, who has two children at Olympia High, is concerned about a lack of police at the school.

"There have been several issues that have come up. I think they need someone there. It's just better that way," said Vasquez.

The school resource officer will remain on patrol at Capital High School, the other high school in Olympia.