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Home School & Student News Broward School District Approves Security Enhancements

Broward School District Approves Security Enhancements

At the July 24, 2018 meeting, the School Board of Broward County, Florida approved the following items related to safety and security enhancements across the District:

The first phase of the project to upgrade the network of 10,000 real-time surveillance cameras is complete. The School Board approved an item to begin phase two of the video surveillance project. This phase includes plans to install approximately 2,500 additional cameras on school campuses. The upgraded cameras enhance the District’s ability to leverage the upgraded system and provide additional functionality for monitoring campuses.

The School Board approved the job description for the Armed Safe School Officer, Marshal/Guardian Program, established in accordance with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act and in support of the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program. The Armed Safe School Officer, Marshal/Guardian will be responsible for providing security and safety services for a school’s campus.

These Guardians must successfully undergo the same background check and psychological exam that regular police officers do, however most applicants so far have been rejected. The Guardians must receive extensive training on the proper use of firearms which will take time. In addition, the initial pay is low in comparison to regular law enforcement positions and Guardians will have very little to do while on the job.

Broward Mayor Beam Furr said he understands the school district is facing a challenge in finding people who can meet at the requirements, complete all the training and be willing to work for a low salary but the start of school in a few weeks. It is considered an unfunded mandate.

The School Board approved an agreement with the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation to implement up to 4 no-cost, violence prevention programs (Start with Hello, Say Something, Safety Assessment and Intervention, and Signs of Suicide) into existing or new pro-social clubs at schools across the District.

It approved the plan to expand mental health services in the 2018/19 school year. The District received $5.1 million in funding from the state, specifically targeted to expand mental health services provided by the District. The expansion plan provides for 50 support positions, which include ten school counselors, ten school psychologists, ten social workers, ten behavioral analysts, five nurses and five employee assistance program counselors.  

The School Board approved the Florida Safe Schools Assessment Tool (FSSAT), which now includes a school security risk assessment designed to help school officials identify threats, vulnerabilities, and appropriate safety controls for the campuses they supervise.

David Volz
David Volz
David Volz has been a reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2011 and has worked for numerous community news publications throughout South Florida over the past two decades including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal. He is a Professor in the Business department at Broward College and the editor of the Coral Springs Connection, an online community news website. He covers city government, schools, sports events, cultural activities, faith groups and workplaces.

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