Law enforcement officers to be added to every Manatee County school following Parkland shooting

Program begins Monday, March 5

Every school in Manatee County will have a school resource officer on campus as early as Monday.

Law enforcement agencies and the school district worked out a plan to add an additional officer to each high school and a new officer to each elementary school.  

The middle schools will continue to operate with the officer each middle school already has on campus.

“We felt people want to see deputies at schools and there needs to be a presence that is why we are doing this,” said MCSO spokesperson Dave Bristow.

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The Sheriff’s Office will add most of the increased patrols by adding 26 deputies. Bradenton and Palmetto Police Departments will add eight officers. 

“We will be doing it through off duty and overtime and we are scrambling to put it all together, said Bristow.

The program will run until the end of this school year and will cost about $500,000. Bristow said they are still working out how the program will be paid for.

“That’s being worked out it’ll be either the school district or the county maybe they’ll split it down the middle,” said Bristow.

Bristow said the pilot program will be for this school year only. He said leaders are already talking about how to continue the program for next school year.

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