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Sarasota Co. Sheriff worried about school safety plan

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-20 20:06:06-04

SARASOTA, Fla. — Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight said he will not sign the most recent contract presented to his office by the Sarasota County School District.  

The contract calls for the district to pay for a majority of the school resource officers, but in order to do so, they want to cut the number of deputies at some high schools in Sarasota County.

Will Sarasota school district police force be ready in time for first day of school?

“That is just ridiculous to think the community would accept that,” said Knight.

He’s mostly concerned about cutting deputies at Riverview High School because it is one of the largest campuses in the community.

Some school board members said they were forced to cut deputies if they are expected to pay for a majority of the salaries associated with school resource officers.

Meanwhile, the school district is in the process of starting its own police force, but it might not be up and running by the start of the school year.  Knight said he really can’t afford to offer additional deputies to the school district.

"You will lose service in the community if the police force can’t get their force up and running,” said Knight.

Sheriff Knight has a meeting with the school leaders next to hopefully figure out a plan.