The Sheriff and Supt Eakins laid out the plan during the press conference we held in May.
Our schools will be covered on the first day of school.
We are in the process of hiring our School Security Officers. While the district continues to hire and the officers go through training, our law enforcement partners at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Tampa Police Department and Plant City Police Department will put their officers and deputies on our campuses, for now, to ensure the safety of our schools.
Over the next two years, Sarasota County Schools will be implementing our own police for. For the coming 2018-19 school year, we will have SROs in all schools by August 13. For our middle and high schools, we’ll be partnering with local law enforcement partners to provide officers and deputies in these schools. The goal is to have school-based SRO’s in our elementary schools. We have hired a Chief of Police and have made offers to three Sergeants. In addition, we have made offers to 19 out of 24 SROs needed for the year. We continue to actively recruit and hire for these jobs. Training begins July 16.
Our School Board agreed to put SRO’s in each of our schools. We are currently working out the contract requirements with our Local Sheriff’s office and hope to have a contract in place soon. Mrs. Cernich is our Director of School safety , if you have any questions about the contract. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pinellas County Schools is confident we will meet the new requirements of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act by the start of the 2018-19 school year. The school district will hire an additional 82 officers before the start of the next school year. The district will hire a combination of armed security officers AND school resource officers This will ensure that every school will have either an armed security officer or school resource officer in place prior to the start of the next school year. The individuals hired as security officers are currently completing 132 hours of training through the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and will undergo an extensive screening process. The school security officers will only focus on safety and security, which exceeds the responsibilities outlined in the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program.
Polk County Public Schools has created an entirely new district position (School Safety Guardians) to improve campus security and meet the requirements and deadlines set by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.
We created the new School Safety Guardian program in collaboration with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Elementary schools and Learning Centers will have a School Safety Guardian. Middle and high schools will have a school resource officer (SRO) from a local law enforcement agency.
Technical colleges have high school programs, so they will have a school resource officer, and adult schools will have a School Safety Guardian.
Please note that our new School Safety Guardians are not the same thing as an SRO. They will have no authority to arrest and will not be considered law enforcement. However, this new employee position will be certified through the Polk County Sheriff’s Office guardian program, which will allow School Safety Guardians to carry a firearm on campuses. Each of these designated individuals must undergo a background check, drug test, psychological exam and 144 hours of specialized training.
Potential candidates for the School Safety Guardian program are currently undergoing extensive training, testing, background checks, etc.
We are looking to fill a total of 90 School Safety Guardian positions. The current total number of applicants for our available School Safety Guardian positions is 98. We are also holding interviews this Thursday and Friday (July 12 and 13) for more potential applicants to start training on July 23.
Although we need to fill 90 positions, we anticipate some applicants might withdraw or not pass the intensive training. This is why we have more applicants undergoing training than available positions.
With potential candidates still undergoing training, official hiring has not occurred yet. We anticipate official hiring will take place later this month.
The goal is to have all School Safety Guardian positions filled before the first day of school. The first day of school for students is Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. We feel comfortable that we will meet that goal. If we are short positions, we will work with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement agencies to fill any vacancies with an officer or deputy. This will ensure we are in compliance with the mandates.
Hernando Schools is committed to maintaining the SROs currently assigned to each of our schools.
(As you may recall, immediately following Parkland, HCSD and County Commissioners shared funding for 10 additional SROs for our elementary schools. We already had SROs at all secondary schools).
We have reached out to Pasco County, Highlands County, Hardee County, Manatee County and are waiting to hear back.