SARASOTA, Fla. — The Sarasota County School District plans to create its own police force.
All Florida schools are mandated to put a police officer on campus by next school year. Sarasota leaders believe creating its own police force versus using contracted deputies, will save money.
Safety manager, Michael Andreas is creating the program for the district.
“This action will save us about $3 million per year,” said Andreas.
He said the elementary schools will receive the new police officers next school year. The middle and high school will continue with the current SRO program until the contract runs out.
"We will do all the things and have all the rights and powers that a law enforcement agency has,” said Andreas.
Andreas said the districts police force will also be able to provide security for extracurricular activities. The district currently has to pay deputies overtime for extracurricular activities.
“It's a sign of the times. It just makes sense for many school districts to move in this direction,” said Andreas.