Off-duty Oregon cop spends the day at his daughter's school

Off-duty Oregon cop spends the day at his daughter's school »Play Video
Sgt. Josh Harper with the Columbia City Police Department spent Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 at his daughter's school during his off duty hours. He wanted make her, and her classmates, feel more at ease following a threat. KATU photo.

SCAPPOOSE, Ore. - A local elementary school got some extra attention on Friday from someone in uniform.

Sgt. Josh Harper with the Columbia City Police Department was off duty on Friday but decided to put on his uniform, drive up in his patrol car and then stay at his daughter's school, Peterson Elementary, for the day. He even had lunch with his little girl.

His daughter is 9 years old and was nervous about going to school. Scappoose, along with many other school districts across the country, got word of a threat and sent information about it to parents Thursday night.

"She grabbed onto my hand and she wouldn't let go," Harper said.

Harper said he wanted to reassure his own daughter, and her classmates, that everything would be OK, so he decided to spend the day at the school. And his presence also made other parents feel more at ease.

We also noticed a pretty heavy police presence in Scappoose on Friday, in addition to Harper. Officers were keeping a close eye on the schools after the threat.

Harper said he is not trying to wade into any political debate about guns in schools. But he did point out that budget cuts have done away with school resource officers over the years for many school districts, including Scappoose.

Still, he said he understands that times are tough and people vote on police and fire funding decisions in the midst of losing jobs and trying to feed their families.