Some School Districts Consider Cutting Police, Security Officers

Budget issues force schools in Florida and Louisiana to review all options.

The Lafayette Parish (La.) School Board is considering eliminating school security and police officer positions at its middle schools and high schools to close a $12 million budget shortfall. Additionally, Duval County (Fla.) schools may cut 65 security officers.

The Lafayette program began in the 2006-07 school year on two campuses and was expanded parish-wide two years later, reports the Advocate. Last year, the district added noncommissioned school safety officers to provide additional support on campuses to help with discipline issues. It costs more than $1 million per year to pay for about 30 officers.

The parish superintendent, however, says he hopes the officers will not be cut. The school board is considering other ways to address the budget shortfall.

In Duval County, security officers were hired shortly after the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, but paying for them all has become a challenge for the district. Cutting some of the officers would save $2 million, reports News4Jax.com. The number of officers might go from 243 to 178. Although there might be a reduction in guards, the number of SROs deployed in the county would remain the same at 53.

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About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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