MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In order to comply with the state’s new requirement that every school have a trained, armed guard, Miami-Dade police have put out the ‘help wanted’ sign.
They’ve put out the call to retired law enforcement officers, hoping that some of them can report for duty again. Specifically, they want retirees to guard K through eighth-grade public schools.
The job comes with health insurance, paid sick leave, paid holidays, school teacher hours and, of course, summers off.
🚨Attention retired police officers: @MiamiDadePD would like to gauge the interest of retired personnel in rejoining the ranks as a police officer assigned to a school. Please read below for additional information. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/388s8i3o5P
— Miami-Dade Police (@MiamiDadePD) June 14, 2018
Miami-Dade’s school boss says he is confident the district will meet the mandate that all schools have a cop when the bell rings to start the coming year.
“Every single school in Miami-Dade will have at least one law enforcement entity assigned to it,” Supt. Alberto Carvalho said Friday.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has agreed to provide 114 police officers to staff campuses in the unincorporated county. It is expected to win quick approval from county commissioners.
“Protecting our children, what better duty, what higher duty do we have than protecting our children,” Gimenez told CBS4 News Friday.
Gimenez estimates the cost of providing the additional officers will run about $20 million, recognizing that the school district can’t go it alone.
“They can’t possibly provide the protection to all of the schools in Miami-Dade County. We, Miami-Dade Police, are going to have to provide protection for a large number of those schools,” Gimenez said.
Miami Dade Schools have already spent or budgeted more than $50 million on new school safety measures, including hiring scores of counselors and psychologists to recognize potential danger.
Earlier this month, Miami-Dade County Schools and the City of Miami Beach signed a first of its kind agreement that puts armed police officers on school campuses in the city.
After the Parkland massacre, most systems put cops in all high schools and middle schools, but the school safety bill passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Scott requires a full-time cop in every school, pre-K and up.
“It is a moral imperative of our time. Sadly, sadly, a moral imperative of our time,“ said School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, speaking to Beach commissioners last week.
The Beach has agreed to pick up the tab for the officers at its schools.
The officers will be specially trained to deal with children of a tender age.
Miami-Dade Schools will employ only certified police officers to work on campuses. It is a different story in Broward.
Just this week, Broward schools and different law enforcement agencies in the county essentially admitted they don’t know how they will staff all schools when the new year begins in the fall. The Broward district may resort to hiring trained armed guards, given the limitations they face including time and money.
Miami-Dade’s Carvalho, Mayor Gimenez and mayors of other cities got out in front of the issue even before the legislature passed the mandatory school protection measure, and have been in talks on how to get the job done since days after the Parkland massacre.
“A number of other cities are on the verge of reaching finality to these negotiations,” Carvalho said Friday, repeating that every school will have a sworn officer on board when school resumes August 20th, adding there is no air of “desperation” in Miami-Dade.
“We are quite calm,” Carvalho said. “We have a plan.”