Florida District Creates Own Police Department
The department will be comprised of a chief, two lieutenants, four sergeants, 36 school resource officers, three relief school resource officers and a detective.
- By Jessica Davis
- February 11, 2019
Clay County Public Schools will have its own police department by the fall after board members voted to create a 47-member department to help with school security.
“We will do it as aggressive as we can in order to have the best to protect our schools,” Superintendent Addison Davis told Action News JAX.
The department will be comprised of a chief, two lieutenants, four sergeants, 36 school resource officers, three relief school resource officers and a detective. Most of the district’s campuses will be covered by the school resource officers.
Following last year’s Parkland shooting, state leaders passed a law requiring every Florida public school to have school resource officers or school safety officers. Clay County schools have been using a combination of school resource officers provided by local law enforcement like the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and employees hired under the Guardian Program.
Under the new plan, the 27 Guardians employed by the district would be phased out after the first year. Some Guardians could become school resource officers working in the district’s police force, according to Davis.
The first year and startup costs total more than $6.1 million, and costs for the second year are estimated at $4.2 million.
Davis said he’s aware that creating the district police department in five months would be difficult. He said the district will hire people to help train staff and the district will search nationwide for a police chief.
“I understand what it takes to get it done, and we’ll do it to the best of our ability,” Davis said.
Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.