While Superintendent Malcolm Thomas is forming a task force on school safety, Okaloosa County is moving rapidly ahead on putting deputies in its elementary schools. And Okaloosa County is doing it with the cooperation of the county commission, school board and sheriff’s office.
The Okaloosa County School Board voted 4-1 yesterday to approve spending $523,000 to place school resource officers in every elementary school.
After the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings in December, Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley decided to shift 26 deputies to cover Okaloosa’s elementary schools.
He told the school board that the resource officers will cost $1.1 million through the end of the school year in June, and he asked the school district to pick up half the tab.
The school board voted to allocate $523,000 from reserves. Another $42,000 will be covered by Radar Group, the private company that runs two charter schools in the district.
The County Commission will vote on Jan. 22 to contribute $265,000. Sheriff Ashley will chip in $300,000 from forfeiture funds.