After the Clay County School District voted to create a new police department to comply with Florida law requiring security at schools, the Clay County Sheriff is making another push to get deputies in all schools. Currently there are deputies in all Junior and Senior High Schools and Sheriff Darryl Daniels says if they are able to expand then the school district wouldn't need a police department.
“Keeping our kids safe is the ultimate mission.” Sheriff Daniels says.
The Sheriff wants the Board of County Commissioners to get the school district to reconsider, not to fund their own police department, but to put a deputy in every school.
“If we can present a package that’s approved by the BCC and the school board that is lower than any projected number that they’ve seen, there’s going to be not only $5 million left over, they’ll be other millions left over.” Sheriff Daniels says.
Clay Schools Superintendent Addison Davis sent us this statement in response to the Sheriff’s announcement.
“I am excited that the Sheriff is going to revisit the overall cost per officer charged to the school district. As stated this week, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office has been an outstanding partner in this work. I look forward to reviewing a potential new proposal along with revisiting the decertification of our Guardians, which was new to me. Without a doubt, having two individuals on our campuses sends a stronger message that safety is our greatest priority. My hope is not only to place School Resource Officers in every one of our schools, but to put Guardians directly next to them with the singular goal of protecting our most treasured assets...our children! The lessons learned from the Parkland tragedy clearly validated one was not enough—the more individuals we can have on our campuses that are trained, armed, and positioned to eliminate a threat to our students...the better.” Superintendent Davis says.
If school and county leaders can’t agree then Sheriff Daniels says the Sheriff’s Office will absorb the School Resource Officers and there won’t be any cuts.
He has not yet said when he’ll make the proposal to the Board of County Commissioners.