Letter to the Editor 3/28/19

School, county police must work together – on and off campus

Posted

I watched the coverage of the latest board meeting and the discussion of the Clay County School District establishing its own police department to provide security at all of its schools.

My concern is that police officers hired by the Board must be sworn officers that have jurisdiction beyond school grounds which I’m reasonably sure the Clay County Commissioners will not approve, much like what happened in Duval. However, the main argument is the ability of the Clay County Sheriff’s Department to coordinate and track potential threats before the threat shows up on school premises. If you haven’t already read the Florida Public Safety Commission’s report on the Stoneman Douglass shooting, I implore you to all read it before you take further action as a Board. The report along with the findings, recommendations and actions is a must read.

I believe that the Board’s main focus must be on the prevention of such violence which necessitates your involvement at the State and national levels to draft and support legislation that will enable school districts to access, share and act on potential threats to schools and students. Such laws do not currently allow adequate exchange of information between school boards and law enforcement agencies.

I’m a retired educator & administrator from the Duval County Public Schools. I reside in Orange Park and would like to offer what I think are some relevant skills to the Clay County Public Schools mission to insure the safety of students, teachers, and citizenry.

I’m a veteran, teacher and administrator with an extensive background in classroom and facilities design, renovation and planning.

I would like to aid with the planning and implementation of an effective and rational plan to protect children while preserving what is right with public education. I don’t want a job or to be a school resource officer, but I know I can help.

Bill Breese

Orange Park

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