The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to ensuring students live in a safe and healthy environment. Long before SB7026, aka “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act” went into effect in 2018, Sheriff Mark Hunter desired and worked toward assigning a Deputy to every school. His reasons were simple: SRD’s mentor, build relationships with and most importantly, protect the students.
The importance and advantage to having a Deputy Sheriff in each school is clear and easily explained. School Resource Deputies are specially trained law enforcement personnel. They provide a myriad of functions which makes them the best option for security. They teach classes on drug prevention and other safety programs. The relationships forged in the daily routine of school often continue into adulthood and let the students know that law enforcement personnel are there to help.
School Resource Deputies are specially trained to deal with any threat to the student’s safety. Each year, the Deputies assigned to the schools receive specialized training at the Florida Association of School Resource Officers (FASRO). This week long training is the most advanced and comprehensive training for school-based law enforcement and administrators. FASRO is the oldest school policing organization in the United States and currently has over 600 members.
We also need to partner with the parents, school staff and the students to increase our effectiveness. We ask that if you hear of something or see something that could be a safety issue, please notify your School Resource Deputy or a School Administrator/Faculty Member. During times of an emergency, contact 911. For a non emergency call dispatch at 386-719-2005.