Officers back in schools

Funded by $1.5 million from state tobacco tax

For the first time in six years, resource officers will return to Chico Unified School District campuses, and it won’t cost the district or the city a dime.

A $1.5 million state grant, funded over two years by the tobacco tax passed in 2016, will allow the Chico Police Department to hire a sergeant and two officers this fall and two more next school year, according to Chief Mike O’Brien.

The focus is on combating illegal sales of tobacco products, but CUSD Director of State and Federal Programs John Bohannon told the CN&R, “In today’s world, where we see so many school shootings, having trained officers on site could be a benefit … to the safety of our students and staff.”

Previously, CUSD and CPD had been working together to finance the reintroduction of two resource officers.