ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. -- The Alachua County Sheriff's Office will soon have deputies in place at 12 Alachua County elementary schools.
Art Forgey, Public Information Officer for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, said in a news release that Sheriff Sadie Darnell has committed to placing deputies in the schools to enhance safety.
Forgey said Sheriff Darnell presented an agreement to the School Board of Alachua County that would place a deputy in each elementary school once students return from their holiday break January 3.
The Sheriff's Office is also working with the school board to determine any additional coverage possibilities, Forgey said.
The measure is temporary, Forgey said, and may change. The county plans a work group meeting to look into making schools safer.
The release said the unknown cost of the safety enhancement will be absorbed into the sheriff's current budget. Forgey said there is currently no funding from the Sheriff's Office or the school board in place to continue placing deputies in the elementary schools long-term.
Forgey said currently there are 16 deputies assigned to 14 non-elementary schools in Alachua County. The school resource deputies serve as a deterrent to anyone who would target young children around schools. Forgey said the deputies offer an expedited response to law enforcement-related school issues such as violence or weapons.
The following schools will be staffed by a deputy once students return from their holiday break:
- Alachua Elementary
- Archer Elementary
- Chiles Elementary
- Hidden Oak Elementary
- Idylwild Elementary
- Irby Elementary
- Lake Forest Elementary
- Meadowbrook Elementary
- Newberry Elementary
- Shell Elementary
- Waldo Elementary
- Wiles Elementary
First Coast News