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Sarasota Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2019 1 month ago

Sarasota County Schools Police Department officially announces plans for growth and expansion

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Currently, the SCSPD has a total of 28 sworn officers.
by: Samantha Chaney Staff Writer

At a March 26 School Board workshop, Sarasota County Schools Police Chief Tim Enos announced that the SCSPD would be taking over the school resource officer positions in all district schools except for Venice High School and Venice Middle School.

Where Venice Police Department has elected to remain in their local public schools, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Sarasota Police Department and North Port Police Department would vacating their current on-campus positions, though they have agreed to be available to give assistance to the SCSPD.

Additionally, in order to accommodate for the increasing student population, the SCSPD plans to hire an additional 23 sworn officers by the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

Enos told board members he also plans to hire two civilian employees during the 2019-2020 school year to have an administrative assistant as well as a property and evidence clerk.

“I am thankful for our local law enforcement partners who have supported the school district for decades,” Enos said. “School safety and security is a community endeavor, and I am proud of the way our students, families, school personnel and community partners have stepped up to be a part of the solution.”

In addition to added personnel and expanded training programs, the SCSPD will also acquire more technical and electronic equipment, such as vehicles and expanded communications/monitoring systems.

While the original 2018-2019 budget for the School Resource Officer Program — which includes contracts with local law enforcement partners — was more than $5 million, the school district has estimated about $400,000 worth of savings in its revisions with the SCSPD.

Additional savings of approximately the same amount are projected for the upcoming 2019-2020 year, according to a release by the Sarasota County School District.

“I am amazed every day by the commitment and dedication of Chief Enos and our school-based police officers,” Superintendent Todd Bowden said. “The safety of our children and school communities remains a priority for the district and I am pleased with the expansion plans Chief Enos has presented to further enhance the safety and security of our schools.”

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