Seminole County to place officer at every school

The school board is expected to vote Tuesday to put a full-time school resource officer at every one of Seminole County Public Schools 59 campuses.

District spokesman Michael Lawrence told FOX 35 he expects the measure to pass.  “Will it help with responses in various situations? Absolutely.  Will it help that they’re on campus dedicated every day.  Should it be an extra piece of mind for parents? Absolutely.  But their role is to serve many capacities on a school campus,” Lawrence said, noting that officers would build relationships and help develop security plans. 

Last school year, a Seminole County Sheriff’s Office deputy was positioned at every high school and middle school in the district.   Officers floated between elementary schools.

Seminole County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kim Cannaday said the officers in the schools will teach program called Focus on Safety to fifth graders.  The program is meant to teach kids about drug abuse prevention and internet safety, in addition to other life skills. 

While the plan to expand the number of officers at schools was in the works prior to the June 12 shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and clashes between police officers and communities across the country, Cannaday and Lawrence acknowledge the change might help provide a greater sense of security and foster relationships between students and officers.

“We all know that the earlier we can interaction with the children the better our relationships will be with them,” Cannaday said.