Florida Sheriffs Association: Give Us Enough Money for School Resource Officers
The Florida Sheriffs Association released an urgent letter Tuesday afternoon requesting adequate funding for school resource officers. The letter was sent to Gov. Rick Scott, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart. Here is the text in its entirety:
“Since last month’s tragic event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, sheriffs have been part of the statewide effort to bring forward solutions to keep our students safe. The welfare of our youth has always been a top priority for the sheriffs in Florida. We strongly believe both the House and Senate must pass comprehensive legislation this year to address a wide variety of school safety issues.
"Sheriffs fully support having all schools assigned a sworn sheriff’s deputy or police officer present on our school campuses. To achieve this end, sheriffs strongly believe the top priority must be additional state funding to ensure schools have a certified law enforcement officer ready to serve as a school resource officer (SRO). SRO programs emphasize the importance of collaboration between school officials and local law enforcement by promoting a community-based approach to school violence. Increasing the number of SROs on school campuses will greatly enhance school safety and protect students, teachers, and administrators.
"We are in the business of saving lives, and none are more precious than the lives of our children. We believe state funding for SROs is the best way to prevent another tragedy from occurring in our schools. The Florida Legislature must make funding school resource officers their top priority.”