School resource officers sworn in for Jackson County

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 9:15 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Everything about schools in Florida changed in 2018.

“When the changes from Majorie Stoneman Douglas came about, we had to have an armed person on every campus,” said Cheryl McDaniel, Deputy Superintendent of the Jackson County School Board.

When this happened, the Jackson County School board had to try to find a solution.

“We formed our own police force which was quite a huge ordeal, but we had to comply with that having an armed person on campus,” McDaniel said.

However, on July 1 of this year, the school board and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office began working together to protect students.

“When Sheriff Edenfield was elected he said ‘We want to be your protection,” McDaniel said.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office now has 16 school resource officers, and one or more of them is stationed at every school across Jackson County. Those 16 deputies were officially sworn in on Wednesday, but they have gone through a lot of training to get to this point.

“Crisis intervention is a required training for any resource deputy,” School Resource Division Lieutenant Steven Stewart said. “Our officers are also going to specialized training for school resource officers, [and] active shooter training as well.”

Officials said having Sheriff’s Deputies at schools has more than just one benefit.

“Our mission, really, is the safety and security of the student population, staff and visitors of the school system,” Stewart said. “The importance would be setting an example for the children. Being a good role model so they have a better relationship and respect for law enforcement in the future.”

Both parties involved said the they’re happy to help keep students safe.

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