Facing a shortage in the sheriff’s department, Kern County is set to pull all deputies from schools where they serve as school resource officers.
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood has requested that the Kern County Board of Supervisors cancel the contracts at its meeting Tuesday morning.
Youngblood said the request comes as the department is short-staffed.
“It’s simple and boils down to the fact that we don’t have staff,” Youngblood told The Bakersfield Californian. “We don’t have enough staff for local patrol.”
The county has a deal with six area districts: Wasco Union High School District, Edison School District, Greenfield Union School District, Standard School District, Taft City School District and Taft Union High School District.
Each district had one deputy assigned as a school resource officer and performed various duties, such as campus security and providing safety resources.
“I don’t want the public to think that we’re not going to be there,” Youngblood said. “It’s not about money, it’s about bodies.”
All of the contracts were for the 2021-2022 school year, which runs to either June or July for all of the districts.
Per the agreement, both the county and the schools have the ability to terminate the contract, provided a 90-day written notice is given.
The county is set to authorize Jan. 30, 2021, as the final day at the school sites for the deputies.