A Woodburn police officer assigned to the School Resource Officer (SRO) unit is on paid administrative leave this week, after social media posts that reportedly concerned members of the community.
The alleged content of the posts was not revealed, nor was the officer identified, but they were apparently serious enough to warrant a prompt response from Woodburn Police Chief Jim Ferraris, who said he launched a personnel investigation after placing the officer on leave Tuesday.
A statement by the chief on June 10 suggests the posts may have been violent in nature.
“The information I read and saw is troubling and disturbing, and we are committed to a full and transparent investigation,” Chief Ferraris said in a June 10 press release. “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.”
Chief Ferraris said the personnel investigation would be completed “as swiftly as possible,” and that further decisions may be made once more is known. Since school is currently out of session, the chief has taken the additional step of suspending the SRO program throughout the community.
The Woodburn PD maintains two full-time SROs, who are assigned to work within the Woodburn School District and are supervised within the Community Response Division. The SROs work closely with school staff and students to provide a safe environment so that they can achieve their education goals.
The unnamed officer is far from the only one who has found themselves in hot water over social media posts during these times of amplified public tension and unrest.
Dan Holladay, mayor of neighboring Oregon City, has been subject to calls for his resignation and a rumored recall effort after posts on Facebook and Nextdoor that seemed to downplay police violence against blacks and widespread protests that have broken out across the globe.
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