June 28, 2018
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) preference is to retain and expand the current School Resource Officer (SRO) program as part of the District’s overall safety and security efforts. Under the SRO program, BCPS partners with local municipalities and the Broward Sheriff’s Office to assign certified law enforcement officers at schools. New state legislative requirements (SB 7026) mandate all Florida school districts have an SRO or safe school officer at each school at the start of the 2018/19 school year. In the event a municipal partner is unable to support the District’s current SRO program due to financial reasons or officer availability, the District acknowledges the potential need to participate in the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program to meet the new state requirements.
During the Tuesday, June 27, 2018, School Board Meeting, the Broward County School Board approved three pertinent items: (1) the first reading of the job description for the new Armed Safe School Officers (Guardians), (2) the salary schedule for the new Armed Safe School Officers (Guardians), and (3) the District’s intent to avail itself of the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program.
Watch and listen to the School Board discussion:
Below are answers to frequently asked questions:
As part of the District’s participation in the Guardian Program, would teachers or other school staff members be allowed to serve as Guardians (and be armed at a school)?
BCPS has created the new position of Armed Safe School Officer (Guardian). This position is exclusively dedicated to serving as a guardian. BCPS is not allowing staff to serve in the role of a guardian as a supplemental role. The only way for teachers or other school staff members to serve as guardians would be for this to be their sole primary position, and for them to meet the minimum requirements for the position (the guardian position).
What happens next in the hiring of Armed Safe School Officers?
The District will issue its advertisement for the new Armed Safe School Officers (Guardians) and immediately begin ensuring candidates meet minimum requirements. Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will go through background checks and drug testing, as mandated by the new legislation. Complete details on the minimum qualifications are outlined on page two of this document.
What is the timetable for hiring?
The District will immediately begin sourcing for these positions. The District is hopeful it will have sourced sufficient candidates by mid-July, to have the Broward Sheriff’s Office initiate the required training.
Is there going to be an armed security guard at each District school or will some schools share one guard?
The new legislation requires a safe school officer at every school and provides for school districts to utilize any combination of three mechanisms to comply: (1) partner with local law enforcement agencies to provide a certified law enforcement officer (SRO), (2) hire its own certified law enforcement officer (SRO), or (3) participate in an approved guardian program. The District only intends to provide a new Armed Safe School Officer (Guardian) at schools where a municipality is unable or unwilling to participate in the current SRO program structure.
What experience is required?
The minimum and preferred qualifications of the new Armed Safe School Officers (Guardians) are listed below.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE:
- Standard high school diploma or satisfactory completion of an approved General Educational Development (GED) Testing Program.
- A minimum of two (2) years within the last ten (10) years of experience as a sworn law enforcement officer in “good standing” at time of employment separation. Two years of prior military experience with an honorable discharge may be substituted for law enforcement experience. (Military experience includes time as a Reservist)
- Prior experience working with adolescents.
- Must possess and maintain a valid State of Florida driver’s license.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills, and the ability to accurately communicate facts.
- Computer skills as required for the position.
- Obtain the requirements outlined below prior to School Board appointment:
a. Hold a valid license issued under s. 790.06 (License to carry concealed weapon or firearm).
b. Successful completion of 132 hours of comprehensive firearm safety and proficiency training conducted by Criminal Justice Standards and training Commission-certified instructors
c. Pass a psychological evaluation administered by a psychologist licensed under chapter 490 and designated by the Department of Law Enforcement and submit the results of the evaluation to the Sheriff’s office.
d. Submit to and pass an initial drug test and subsequent random drug tests in accordance with the requirements of s. 112.0455 and the Sheriff’s office.
e. Successfully complete at least 12 hours of a certified nationally recognized diversity training program.
- Must be twenty-one years of age (In the state of Florida, individuals must be 21 years of age or older to obtain a concealed weapons permit).
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE:
- An earned associate degree in a related field from an accredited institution.
- A minimum of four (4) years within the last ten (10) years of experience as a sworn law enforcement officer in “good standing” at time of employment separation. Four years of prior military experience with an honorable discharge may be substituted for law enforcement experience. (Military experience includes time as a Reservist)
- Prior experience in law enforcement in a K-12 setting.
- Bilingual skills.
What will be their salary?
The School Board approved the salary schedule for the new Armed Safe School Officers (Guardians). The minimum and maximum hourly rates are identified below.
ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.” Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has more than 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 234 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 93 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. To learn more, visit browardschools.com. Follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS app.