WOODBURN, OR (KPTV) – A Woodburn police officer was put on leave after someone alerted the police department about a negative social media post allegedly made by the officer.

Law enforcement has not said anything about the post's content nor the officer's identity.

The officer was assigned to the School Resource Officer Unit, which has been suspended pending a review of the program and an opportunity to seek input from the community and school district partners, according to law enforcement officials.

Due to the urgency of the allegations, Woodburn Police Chief Jim Ferraris launched a personal investigation on Tuesday.

“The information I read and saw is troubling and disturbing and we are committed to a full and transparent investigation,” Ferraris said. “The content of the complaint does not reflect the values of the Woodburn Police Department, nor do we condone any violence as suggested from the information in the complaint.”

Ferraris said the investigation would be completed as quickly as possible.

Though police won't confirm any information about the post, a petition is now circulating, asking Woodburn police to de-fund Woodburn's SROs.

"It actually ends up being something that deters people of color, children of color, from fully participating in school," Kara Romero, a former social worker, said.

It's something Romero says she believes and has been making sure city officials know her position.

"We don’t police officers in our hallways, we need them available for whenever something really terrible happens," Romero said. "And all the other circumstances can be handled by other professional."

But Woodburn resident Doug Brown, a former teacher, doesn't agree.

"I don’t think it’s a good idea just because there are things that happen in the school that teachers are not prepared to handle, you know, discipline issues," Brown said.

Brown says he was a teacher for around 30 years in Idaho and worries about the response to school shootings without resource officers.

"If you have one on site, then your chances of saving lives is a lot higher," Brown said. 

But Romero says in a city like Woodburn, police are so close to the schools that that isn't a valid point. 

"If we need then, they can be here," Romero said.

FOX 12 also spoke with Hector, a seventh grader at French Prairie Middle School. He says he goes to school with a resource officer and likes it.

"He’s actually pretty nice to us and talks to us about cyber-bullying and how everything is the way it should be and talks about school campus and what goes on school campus," Hector said.

Romero said she worries about the negative impact SROs have on students of color, and what is known as the school to prison pipeline. She says other professionals could make a bigger impact.

"If we have more social workers, more counselors, instead of more police officers, we’re addressing the social and emotional needs of students long before the problems come up," Romero said.

FOX 12 reached out to Woodburn police for more information, but the department said it would not comment further.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(5) comments

Frederick Fukov

All of the liberals in local government, who are calling to rid the schools of common sense security, have really short memories. Anyone notice how school violence and shootings have been reduced since the implementation of school resource officers? Well guess what's going to happen when you remove a deterrent, as in "those who are trained and can actually return fire" are removed from schools, solely because of liberals who are now taking their direction from complete pods like AOC and Ilhan Omar? Allowing the growth of the radical left, is the worst choice the rest of the country has ever made. There is no compromise with the radical left. The more you give them, the more they will attempt to take. Look at what's going on in Seattle right now. Why the heII our federal government has not sent in the military, is beyond comprehension. We are now dealing with "enemies domestic," and then need to be destroyed.

Eliza Cassan

-"We don’t [want] police officers in our hallways, we need them available for whenever something really terrible happens," Romero said.- Uh, like a school shooting?

racecar57

What the heck is school to prison pipeline ?? That sounds like a made up slogan for something that really does not exist. Probably just like the term racist that some people believe in their minds is causing them problems when the actual problem is the way they behave !! If the truth be known there probably is very little true racism and most of it is actually coming from the side that is always complaining about it

Melody.L

Racecar57 your statement is 100% correct and spot on. The outdated "racism" card is more or less a crutch these days used for personal gain and self pity. It is so rare and let's be honest here anyone non white or non English-speaking actually gets preferential treatment and moves to the head of line because of certain laws and the fear of being accused of being racist.

Why exactly isn't the slogan being touted "ALL LIVES MATTER" why isn't there a riot every single time a police officer Kills someone no matter the color or gender??

sagebrush

So, how are we supposed to decide if the post was so bad if we aren't allowed to see it. You can bet it had some reference to black people. Here's my idea. Send these posts to me and I'll post them. I can't be fired or intimidated and don't care one bit about being politically correct.

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