Colo. City's Schools Temporarily Without Full-Time Resource Officers

Feb. 15, 2024
A staffing shortage at the Severance Police Department has meant school resource officers have been temporarily assigned to patrol duties, but recently hired officers could change that.

Severance schools are temporarily without full-time school resource officers while the Severance Police Department deals with staffing issues.

"Until the department is fully staffed, our SROs have been temporarily assigned patrol duties to cover department needs in the community," Weld RE-4 Communications Director Katie Smith said.

The issues affect Grandview Elementary School, Severance Middle School and Severance High School.

Severance Town Manager Nicholas Wharton said the town has been dealing with staffing issues affecting school resource officers on and off for some time now but could not specify for exactly how long officers have not been assigned full time to schools. Smith estimated the police staffing issues have been affecting the schools since late this past fall.

Wharton said the department recently hired three new officers. One started last week, another is slated to start at the end of February and the third should start at the beginning of March.

"As soon as they get out into the streets, then full-time (school resource officers) will be back in schools," Wharton said.

In the meantime, officers will visit campuses on a randomized basis and the police department is still attempting to have an officer at schools for one to three hours per day, Wharton added.

Despite the resource officers not constantly being present, Severance police have continued to be very responsive to the school district's needs, Smith said, adding that Police Chief Ken Chavez remains devoted to returning resource officers to schools.

"Chief Chavez is working to recruit and train new officers," Smith said. "He is committed to the school resource program and is optimistic that our schools will have dedicated SROs in buildings soon."

Chavez, who also serves as the department's public information officer, is on vacation and unable to comment.

Smith emphasized this is only temporary.

"He has assured us that he is looking to reinvigorate the program as soon as staffing allows," Smith said. "It's something that is important to him."

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(c)2024 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.)

Visit the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.) at www.greeleytribune.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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