MCSB approves new contracts with law enforcement agencies for resource officers in all schools

New agreements reflect 20% increase in costs for services.


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Posted July 6, 2022 | Caroline Brauchler
caroline@ocalagazette.com

The Marion County School Board signed new agreements last Tuesday with three separate law enforcement agencies to renew police presence in schools for the next three years.

The School Resource Officer Agreements, enforced by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public High School Safety Act, comply with the requirement to have a Safe Schools Officer in every Florida School.

The Belleview Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Ocala Police Department all made arrangements with the school board to agree to the contract that will last from 2022 until 2025.

“On a yearly basis, the Safe Schools, Legal and Finance Departments will evaluate the SRO contracts to review cost savings and other security measures that best meet the needs of Marion County Public Schools,” according to MCPS.

Per each respective agreement, BPD will receive $205,384, MCSO will receive $8,190,000, and OPD will receive 4,635,188 from MCPS over the course of the three-year contracts. At a total of $13,030,572, the funding for this contract sees a 20% increase compared to the previous contracts between the three departments in 2019 that totaled $10,865,552.

The requirements for police presence in Marion County schools is sanctioned by Florida Statute 1006.12 and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public High School Safety Act, Senate Bill 7026.