Low on officers, school district considers hiring private security companies

A local school district says that the new law that requires a police officer in every school leaves them high and dry. They say there is just not enough money and not enough officers.

School officials in Volusia County say that they do not know for sure if they can even take this route, but they are going over proposals from private security companies who could be in schools next year. The district says that they do not know if they have enough money or officers here in Volusia County to meet a new state mandate.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act was put in place after the shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood says that "we would love to have a police officer or deputy in every single school." However, he went on to say that "Even if I wave a magic wand and got $10 million, and said hey we're going to do this, it would take forever for me to be able to fill these slots with professional certified law enforcement officers."

The county has to hire 45 officers, which will cost about $6 million. They are only getting $3.7 million from the state.

Sheriff Chitwood says that agencies all over Florida are already having trouble hiring officers to put on the street, let alone in classrooms. And school districts and police departments have to hire dozens of officers by the beginning of the school year.

Right now, state law does not allow Volusia schools to hire a private security company, but the sheriff says that it is a good option.

The Department of Education says that they are reviewing the law, but right now, they don't have any solutions for districts who expect to come up short.