The School District of Indian River County will now have a school resource officer stationed at all traditional public schools, including charter schools.
The announcement was made Wednesday after a partnership with local law enforcement agencies.
Previously, school resource officers were only at traditional middle and high schools.
With this increased support, an SRO will now be at all elementary schools, the Technical Center for Career and Adult Education and the Wabasso School.
The SROs will be on campus for the entire school day and will be dedicated to the site for the remainder of the school year.
The district said the increased level of security is a key element in the effort to provide a safe environment for students and staff.
"We would like to thank the leadership of these local law enforcement agencies; Sheriff Deryl Loar of Indian River County Sheriff's Office, Chief David Currey of the Vero Beach Police Department, Chief Michelle Morris of the Sebastian Police Department, and Chief Keith Touchberry of the Fellsmere Police Department. All of these agencies are contributing resources to this effort and we are certainly grateful for the partnership we have with them," the district said in a statement.
Superintendent Dr. Rendell stated, "I believe our community is very fortunate to have such dedicated law enforcement agencies that have not hesitated to work together to make this happen."
Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar, added, "Today is a safer day in Indian River County. We are proud to partner with the School District of Indian River County to have law enforcement in every public school in the county. Our deputy sheriffs now staff public schools from first bell to last bell every school day, and will do so from today forward."
Indian River County School Board Chairman Shawn Frost released the following statement:
"The Board is confident that today our schools are likely the safest they have ever been and only getting safer. These additional School Resource Officers demonstrate the Board's commitment to meet potential threats with preparation and are merely the first and most visible representation of our commitment to providing the safest possible learning environment for our students. We appreciate the focus and efforts of our Superintendent, Dr. Rendell, Assistant Superintendent Teske, and the Sheriff and Chiefs of Police over the course of the past month to move the Board's clear vision and plans forward. We are grateful to Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for providing the additional funds for staffing, hardening our structures, and addressing the mental health concerns within our schools. We pray a threat never comes, but we are MUCH better prepared today and will be even better prepared in the coming weeks and months. Our children must be kept as safe as possible."
The district also says it is still looking into whether to opt in to the guardian program that's part of a new Florida law. This would allow some school employees to carry a gun if they complete extensive training with the sheriff's office.
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