ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orange County Commission voted in favor of adding more school resource officers (SROs).
- Cost for new SROs to be $11.2 million
- Breakdown of the cost will be shared by school board, commission and state
- RELATED: Demings, Jacobs point fingers over Orange County school officer vacancies
They approved the 75 additional positions with no qualms, saying safety is everyone's first priority.
The cost of this is $11.2 million, but the breakdown of who will pay will be shared between the school board, the board of county commissioners and the state.
In a memo, with Sheriff Jerry Demings, who is running for Orange County mayor, stated that it will take months or even longer before those officers are placed at a school.
“We have received an overwhelming response from certified law enforcement officers who are very, very interested with going to work in our schools, which is the good news, and now we just are just trying to get them on board ... ,” Demings said.
Paige Vick, a mother of an Orange County high school student, decided to come to the meeting to urge more action to be taken. Vick is also a survivor of the Las Vegas massacre and felt that experience gives her more insight into the urgency of the issue.
“You can’t erase what you saw, and it’s like what you heard. The people moaning and screaming," Vick said. “I don’t have to go to another concert. I really don’t have to leave my house, but these children have to go to school, it is our obligation to protect them.”
This approval did not come without discourse between the Orange County Sheriff's Office and Mayor Teresa Jacobs over the past few weeks and months.
However, she says despite the tension, she believes her working relationship with Sheriff Jerry Demings is salvageable.
"It's salvageable. Sometimes along the course of making, of trying to bring about change, you break some eggs. But I think what we have seen here in this community is that I do not believe that any relationships with public servants are not salvageable," she said.
Demings was not in attendance, but one of his majors was asked if the relationship was salvageable.
"The relationship remains professional, we want to make sure that the goal is the same, to provide safety for our community in the schools," said Maj. Angelo Nieves.
On Wednesday, Jacobs, a representative from the Sheriff’s Office and Orange County Public Schools will be sitting down together in a private meeting to discuss where to go from here and more specifically breakdown how much each entity will be expected to pay.