VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. -- Mayors in Volusia County got a chance on Monday to hear and weigh in on plans to implement a school safety bill.
But the funding and how to put those law enforcement officers on every campus is now in question.
- Mayors discuss Volusia school safety bill
- Roundtable discussed funding, putting officers on school campuses
- District will discuss ideas with school board May 22
"We have a terrific challenge in front of us," said Greg Aken, Volusia County School Sistrict Chief Operations Officer.
The Volusia County School District only has a little more than two months to get a plan in place to comply with the state's school safety mandate to put an armed law enforcement officer on every school campus.
Parent Kim Short said she'd like that, but it will be tough to do.
"There's a lot of problems. We don't have enough people for the sheriff to even hire, forget about putting somebody at each of our schools," said Short, who told us she's been following the issue closely.
School district members, the sheriff, and mayors from around the county discussed the plan, including three options:
- Contract sheriff's school resource deputies
- Contract local police departments for officers
- Appoint certain school employees who volunteer to be armed
Officials said they are also considering retired deputies and military.
"I think it’s a good plan," said Short.
Officials said they'll need more than 40 deputies or officers to fill their need and meet the mandate.
But they're also in need of about $2 million aside from the around $1 million or so the state is providing each county.
"As it rolls out and begins to morph, we can tweak it along the way it can fit for us. Right now everybody's running the same way. Everybody doesn't have the bodies to staff every school and the funding falls short," said Sheriff Mike Chitwood.
The sheriff said ultimately the school board will have to approve the plan and decide what they'll do.
They do believe they'll come up with the funding from somewhere. Short said she has faith in the district as well.
"If we have to come together so that we can find a solution to this, and we're all going to hurt a little bit by having to cough up the money, then that's what we need to do," she said.
The school district said it will be discussing these options with the board on May 22. Everything needs to be in place by the first day of the school year.