Sheriff seeks funds to keep deputies in elementary schools

Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 12:03 PM.

“I’m just looking for solutions … and the best way to sustain school resource officers in our schools,” Ashley said.

Under his plan, the county and the school district each would pay $565,000 to fund the cost of the school resource officers. Ashley agreed to offset the county’s portion with $300,000 in state forfeiture funds, which would leave the county responsible for $265,000.

Until he can hire the 26 positions he needs, several specialty units such as beach patrol, traffic, court security and K-9 will operate with fewer deputies, Ashley told the board.

Harris suggested the board take more time to discuss the proposal, which was presented to commissioners for the first time Tuesday night.

“Quite honestly, this is going to come out of reserves, and man, we just keep chipping away at that,” he said. “We’re going to have to be creative about this.”

Harris expressed frustration at the need for such an expense.

“It’s a sad state of affairs,” he said. “I think we’re over-reacting, but as soon as I say that, something happens and then you’re under-reacting. … I think the public is going to demand that we do it, and I understand that.”

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