The School District of Manatee County will hire security officers to help protect elementary schools.
The Manatee County Sheriff's Office on July 23 began training the first 20 security officers slated to staff Manatee County elementary schools in August.
The School District of Manatee County has implemented a "Guardian" program to provide security at all its public elementary school sites. School Board members had contemplated the use of Manatee County Sheriff's Office deputies but the cost was too high.
Guardians will serve as armed campus security trained by the sheriff's office. The second batch of 20 guardians will begin training mid-August.
Manatee County elementary schools will be staffed with sheriff's deputies until guardians have completed their training.