BEND, Ore. -

On Wednesday, March 20th, school district officials from Deschutes , Jefferson and Crook Counties joined local law enforcement and community representatives to re-sign the Safe School Alliance (SSA) Memo of Support and Participation.

“Our school district leaders, law enforcement officials and community members are always looking for ways to make our Central Oregon schools safer,” said John Rexford, Superintendent for the High Desert Education Service District, the agency that facilitates the collaborative effort.

“This Safe School Alliance is a powerful statement for our communities. We are all working together to reduce crime, prevent bullying and create a better environment for students and we can accomplish more as a collaborative group than we could individually,” he added.

The SSA started in September 1998 under the leadership of Deschutes County District Attorney Mike Dugan and was called C.R.A.S.H. (Crime Reduction At School Houses). The impetus for developing the CRASH program was the increasing frequency of violence at schools or on school property across the country. The CRASH program was designed to enhance safety within school environments, protect students & teachers and provide immediate accountability for crimes committed at schools.

In the following years, CRASH was renamed as the Safe School Alliance. The network of regional school districts and agencies that meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month to share information, discuss items of common interest and concern, advise member agencies on the adoption of policy and explore curriculum and programs to prevent bullying and cyber bullying in the regional schools.

SSA partners include:

School Districts:                                                                  

Bend–La Pine Schools, Crook County School District, Culver School District, Redmond School District, Sisters School District, High Desert Education Service District, Jefferson County Schools

Law Enforcement Agencies:

City of Bend Police Department, City of Prineville Police Department, City of Redmond Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s office

Agencies / Organizations:

Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, Deschutes County Juvenile Justice, Deschutes County Behavioral Health Services, Oregon Youth Authority, Commission on Children & Families, KIDS Center, Serendipity West Foundation