Since the Parkland shooting last month, school districts in southwest Florida have been deciding the best way to improve on school safety. A new law gives schools options and we’re already seeing counties handling it differently.
Lee County is the latest to announce a plan. It is adding 40 sheriff’s deputies to serve as School Resource Officers. That’s in addition to the 60 who are already in place.
Hendry County is going with what it calls the Guardian Program. It will arm and train volunteers. Those volunteers will go through extensive training, a psych evaluation, a drug test, and other testimg. The goal is to make it happen by the start of the next school year in the fall.
There are pros and cons to each approach. Lee county’s method increases the deputy presence available in the district. Initially, those deputies will be moved from other duties until they’re replaced by full-time deputies. Then there’s the obstacle of who pays for this and how much it will cost.
Henry county’s method allows volunteers with military and police experience. One concern voiced by some is that it increases the amount of people who have access to guns in schools other than law enforcement.
We’re waiting on a response from Collier and Charlotte county.