• Clay County School District, Sheriff's Office meet to push forward school police plan

    By: Brittney Verner , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    The Clay County School District and the Clay County Sheriff's Office are meeting Wednesday to discuss the implementation of the new district police force. 

    QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE CLAY COUNTY SCHOOL POLICE FORCE: 

    • The department was approved in February and only has three employees.
    • The district is currently working to hire new officers.
    • Clay County Sheriff, Darryl Daniels announced he was handing over some responsibilities to the newly created school police force Monday.
    • Initial plans called for school resource officers to be fully trained and staffed for the entire district by the fall. 

    RELATED: Clay County School Board state approval for new police force

    The Clay County School Police Force is a step closer to having full control over the district, but some parents are concerned that with only three employees on the new force they’re not ready for the responsibility. 

    This comes after Clay County Sheriff Daryl Daniels announced they would limit their resource officers to only be available during school hours. 

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    Now school administrators are trying to figure out how they will staff large events such as graduation. 

    Tuesday, the Clay County Schools new police chief had a meeting with a representative from the sheriff’s department to discuss building a mutual aid agreement. However, there are still a lot of unanswered questions concerning the number of staff on the new force and school safety. 

    Monday, Action News Jax reported that Sheriff Darryl Daniels was handing over responsibility to the Clay County Schools' new police Chief Kenneth Wagner to answer calls related to school property after normal school hours. 


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    With only two lieutenants and the chief serving on the force, parents such as Shakila Jackson are concerned about what will happened during extracurricular activities.

    “Just one or two police officers or six, seven of them is not going to be enough,” Jackson said. 

    She said knowing there isn’t enough manpower right now to secure the school after hours scares her. 

    “I don’t feel safe anymore because we need a full force of police officers in this area,” Jackson said.

    The district's administration refused to comment about how they plan to staff those large events after normal school hours. That’s why parents such as Jackson are worried about whether the new police force will be ready. 

    The Clay County school district’s new police chief Kenneth Wagner had a meeting with representatives from the Sheriffs office today. They discussed the new police force. But learn why parents still aren’t satisfied with this safety option at 5:30 on @ActionNewsJax

    — Brittney Verner (@BrittneyVerner) April 24, 2019

    “Until they get trained to know the area and the population, the kids and stuff in the school, I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Jackson said. 

    The communication director for the school district said it’s likely that some other area police departments will help secure the graduations. 

    They are still asking people to call 911 if they have an emergency, but for non-emergencies that happen on school property, people are asked to call 904-336-0100. 
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    MORE: Clay County School Board state approval for new police force  |  Parents begging Clay County School Board to reconsider plan to create its own police department  |  School district, sheriff at odds over law enforcement in Clay County schools | Clay County school police getting more responsibilities ahead of schedule

     

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