Democrat Senator Deb Patterson Wanted Police Removed from Schools

By Reagan Knopp

Recently unearthed video (seen above) shows that Senator Deb Patterson, a Democrat from Salem, advocated removing school resource officers from public schools, shedding new light on the legislator’s ideas around school security in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting that left 19 children dead.

In a June 2020 meeting of the Salem Keizer School Board, then-candidate for State Senate, Patterson said “I would urge the Salem-Keizer School District and the City of Salem to revisit the budget and invest in funding for more school counselors, teaching assistants, and other needed educators rather than investing in school resource officers.

She decried the racism of school security, claimed that school security was ineffective at protecting students, and advocated for their funding to be cut: “Only 45% of schools have a school resource officer, so more than half of the schools in America seem to be doing fine without them.”

Meanwhile, as a state senator, Deb Patterson receives armed Oregon State Police security at her office in the state legislature. She also voted (SB 554) to boost her own security protection in her first year as a legislator by adding metal detectors to Capitol entrances.