Okaloosa commissioners skeptical of school officers funding (DOCUMENT)

Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley nwfdn

Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley

Special to the Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 02:57 PM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley is standing firm on a plan to spend $3.4 million to keep an armed deputy in every school for another year.

“If I’ve got to list the priorities of what the Sheriff’s Office does, I believe those kids are at the top of that list,” he told county commissioners Tuesday during a budget workshop.

Ashley has secured about $1.2 million in funding from the Okaloosa County School Board. He needs another $2.2 million from the county to pay for the program.

That $2.2 million accounts for almost half of the $4.7 million increase he has requested from county commissioners for fiscal 2013-14.

Look over the Sheriff's budget. >>

Commissioners made no decision on the request Tuesday. County Administrator Ernie Padgett has proposed giving Ashley a $2 million increase, but commissioners will have the final approval in September.

If commissioners don’t approve his request, Ashley has vowed to cut a wide range of other services to pay for the deputies in schools.  

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