NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla -- The Pasco County School Board approved a school safety plan on May 1 geared toward bringing the district into compliance with recent state legislation on school security.
- District will add up to 50 school safety guards
- District will also hire a Director of School Safety
- See estimated costs, job descriptions for new position HERE
Florida law is requiring all schools to have an added security plan in place by the fall. Options of Gov. Rick's Scott's plan is now being debated in all of Florida's 67 counties.
There were three options under the new school safety law: Put a school resource officer at each school, put a school safety officer at each school, or train teachers to carry guns.
Option 3 really received no attention from school administrators. So options 1 and 2 were the ones on the table.
Pasco County schools already has SROs in its middle and high schools, so the only additions it needs to make are at its 50 elementary schools.
Superintendent Kevin Browning's plan recommended option 2 -- school safety officers. The district preferred SROs because they are employed by the sheriff’s office, but it says it can’t afford it.
School safety officers will cost an additional $2.9 million dollars, where SROs would cost around $3.1 million.
School safety officers will need 132 hours of training with the sheriff’s office - and also complete the guardian program to allow them to carry a gun and taser.
In addition, state law requires each district to appoint a school safety specialist. In Pasco County, that will be the Director of School Safety and Security, a position where hiring will require approval by the school board.
To see the job descriptions and responsibilities for school safety officers and the director of school safety and security, as well as estimated costs and Browning's full proposal, click here.