The Youth Services Unit is comprised of 6 School Resource Officers (SROs), and are supervised Commander Christian Walters.
School Resource Officers
The School Resource Officer (SRO) was developed in partnership with the Kennewick School District and the Kennewick Police Department. The program began the 1994 / 1995 school year. SROs are assigned to Kennewick High School, Kamiakin High School, Southridge High School, Park Middle School, Highlands Middle School, Horse Heaven Middle and in 2024 Chinook Middle School and Desert Hills Middle School.
The primary duty of the SRO is to provide police services to their assigned school and assist with the safety of the students and staff. The SROs are responsible for providing educational instruction to students in areas such as traffic safety and government classes and as a resource to students. The SROs are also available as informal counselors to students who can speak to the SRO about a problem or situation they are dealing with. When requested, SROs also assist other Middle Schools.
- Kamiakin High School SRO Officer Chris Buroker
- Kennewick High School SRO Officer Troy Pekins
- Southridge High School SRO Officer Jason Harrington
- Park Middle School SRO Officer Rick Sanders
- Highlands Middle School SRO Officer Tim Harris
- Horse Heaven Middle School SRO James Canada
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)
The D.A.R.E. program was instituted in Kennewick schools in 1988 as a result of the strong partnership between the Kennewick School District and the Kennewick Police Department.
Beginning in 2024, DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) will be taught in 6th grade by the Middle School SROs. The 10-week curriculum ends with a culmination ceremony where the students are honored in front of their peers, family, and other members of the community. The focus of D.A.R.E. is to educate students about drugs and their dangers along with giving students skills for refusing drug offers.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has released the 2005 "Monitoring the Future" survey. The proportion of 8th, 10th and 12th grade students who use illicit drugs continues to decline. Over the past four years there has been a 19% decrease in teenage drug use. This is real progress, and although we cannot take complete credit, there is no question that D.A.R.E. is a key component of the efforts made to achieve these results.