Okaloosa commissioners skeptical of school officers funding (DOCUMENT)

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 14:57 PM.

“I just think it’s that important, regardless who’s funding it,” he said.

Some commissioners questioned the fiscal burden the program places on taxpayers.

Commissioner Wayne Harris said Ashley’s decision to place deputies in all the schools was “self-imposed” and not something the board initiated.

He also called for the school district to shoulder more of the cost.

“My heartburn is if the schools are getting the bulk of the benefit, then the schools should be paying for it,” Harris said. “ … If it’s that important to them, why aren’t they willing to come up with that?”

Ashley said school district officials don’t believe they should be responsible for enforcing state laws, and that it’s the Sheriff’s Office’s job to protect students and school employees.

“From that point of view, it’s certainly my responsibility to protect our citizens,” he said.

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