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Broward County (Florida) school board rejects plan for district police force

Jan. 9, 2024
Board members said the proposal was brought forth without public input and it was unclear if it would save the district money.

The Broward County (Florida) school board has rejected its superintendent's proposal to form a full-scale police department.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the board voted unanimously to rebuff the plan after members described it as rushed and lacking in public support.

Members of the public who opposed the plan argued that it was proposed without public input, was unlikely to save money and could make schools less safe.

As a result, school resource officers from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and city police departments will continue to serve schools for the foreseeable future.

The school board decided last summer to explore the idea of creating its own police department amid complaints from local municipalities that the district was failing to adequately pay the costs of providing resource officers.

Last summer, the city of Hollywood asked the board to increase reimbursement to $166,959 per officer as well as pay for two supervisors at a cost of $208,261 each. That request prompted board members to ask Superintendent Peter Licata to pursue a district police force.

The district’s proposal for an internal police force was unclear about whether it would save the district money. The cost for each officer would be cheaper, but there also would be costs for supervisors and additional operating and capital expenses.

Many mayors and city commissioners opposed the district's plan, saying school resource officers are serving the district well, and the district would have difficulty filling the needed positions because of a police officer shortage.

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