ECSD beefs up security at schools

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Escambia County School District (Fla.) started placing armed security in schools on March 19, according to school officials.

Superintendent Malcolm Thomas made the announcement last Friday during a workshop, in which he presented a plan to place the armed security this month, rather than waiting for the new school year in August.

“The district will work with local law enforcement agencies — the Escambia County Sheriff and the City of the Pensacola Police Department, as well as contract security vendors to achieve the objective of providing armed security in elementary schools, while maintaining the school resource officers we already have assigned to our middle schools and high schools,” Thomas said in the release. “The sole purpose of these officers will be to provide security on our campuses.”

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Thomas said the objective is to provide armed security to schools, and cautioned everyone that achieving this goal will take time to build the capacity and availability of security personnel.

“It will take time to identify all of the officers, and also ensure contracted security personnel have the proper credentials,” he said. “Campus assignments will increase as we work toward adding coverage for all of our elementary schools.”

The Escambia County School Board is expected to act upon Thomas’ recommendation for the funding necessary to furnish the security personnel.

“We’re committed to supporting the Escambia County School District,” said Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.

The school board voted on the contracts during their regular meeting on March 20.

According to reports, there are fulltime SROs at Northview and Ernest Ward.