MATTAWA — The Mattawa Police Department has reached an agreement with the Wahluke School District for the open school resource officer position.
“We came to an agreement with the school,” said Joe Harris, Mattawa Police Chief, during a Mattawa City Council meeting on Thursday, Nov. 7. “We start Dec. 1 with one body.”
The contract is for two full-time school resource officers. The department has until next school year to start the second officer.
Harris mentioned to the council that he would like to lower the department’s hiring age to 18.
“There is no law preventing it,” Harris said. “The law is already written in exemptions. They can carry a firearm and they can go into drinking establishments. It doesn’t mean we lower our standards. It widens the pool.”
Harris said that students who want to go into law enforcement after high school end up leaving and going into other careers.
“They never come back,” Harris said.
Currently no agency in the state hires 18-year-olds, even though the law allows it.
Harris told the council that this year’s Trunk-or-Treat had 800 to 900 children and 19 cars participate. The police department received $750 worth of donations. This year, they were able to award four prize baskets.
“Prize baskets were $150 to $300 per basket,” Harris said. “Of candy, everybody in Mattawa really stepped up to the plate. We’re just building on it every year. This has been the best so far. Next year, our goal is to close the street off.”
Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.