The West Hill area encompasses from Division to Lawrence Streets and North 4th to 15th Streets with Mount Vernon High School in the center. Some have said that when you total the number of residents, students, staff and visitors to West Hill it's equivalent to the 5th largest city in Skagit County.
The policing services for this area are uniquely different than other parts of the community and as such, the School District and Police Department partnered over a decade ago to staff a full-time police officer on campus who could serve both the school and neighboring residents.
Officer Chris Carlson began as the West Hill Neighborhood Resource Officer in 2022.
Beyond serving in a crime prevention and response role, Officer Reed develops programs to engage students in civic related experiences, teaches an introduction to criminal justice class, works with parents and school administrative staff when truancy, school rule violations or crimes occur involving students. Additionally, he works directly with residents addressing situations that can arise when such a large institution is surrounded by a residential neighborhood.
Schools are communities within a community where students experience challenges that influence their upbringing. Addressing these challenges involves coordinated efforts among administrators, teachers, students, parents, and community-based stakeholders and the West Hill Neighborhood Resource Officer is a key figure.