Law enforcement officers to be stationed at Manatee County schools

By Angie Angers, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, February 24, 2018, 6:36 PM EST

With more than a dozen school threats and six student arrests, it’s been a volatile ten days at Manatee County schools.  

  • Manatee County school board put together security plan
  • More than 30 law enforcement officers will be stationed at schools
  • Decision comes after dozens of school threats, student arrests

School officials knew they had to act, so they instituted a backpack ban on Friday as the School Board of Manatee County went into an emergency meeting.  

School board members pieced together a plan to ramp up security. Most notably, they decided to add up to 34 law enforcement officers on campuses across the county.   

Under the plan, an officer would be at each elementary and middle school campus, and two would be at each high school.  

"It will not be armed teachers, it will not be private security contractors, it will be local law enforcement officers," board member Charlie Kennedy said.  

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office and local police departments are on board, though they say the implementation won't be instant.  

On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott announced a proposed action plan that calls for a mandatory law enforcement officer to be in every public school and provides $450 million in funding.  

"We'll figure out the funding streams later. And they'll be there, they'll come," Kennedy said. "It's just a matter of where are they going to come from, that's all."

An immediate change parents should expect is that they will no longer be able to walk their students past the school's entrance.   

Overall, tighter security measures will be in place as more law enforcement officers will be in schools.