Orange County commissioners approve sheriff's request for 75 new school deputies

by

comment
On Tuesday, Orange County commissioners approved a request by Sheriff Jerry Demings to hire 75 new deputies for schools in unincorporated areas of the county, following a week of back-and-forth bickering over the funds between Demings and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.

The approval comes just one week prior to primary Election Day. Both Demings, who's running for Orange County mayor, and Jacobs, who's running for Orange County School Board chairwoman, will be on the ballot.



According to a memo Demings submitted on Monday, the new school resource officers will cost $11.2 million, which will then be divided among the county, School Board and state.

Under a new state law – which was approved in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead and 17 more injured – one full-time deputy is guaranteed in every one of the 117 campuses in Demings' jurisdiction. Orange school district, however, has opted out of the section of the law that allows some school personnel to carry firearms on campus or hire additional non-law-enforcement employees for the job, instead deciding to staff schools with officers through contracts with law enforcement and to use the district's in-house police force.



The timeline on when the new deputies will be trained and ready for their school posts remains unclear, according to a report from the Sentinel.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.