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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez signed an agreement Friday which provides more than 100 officers for elementary schools and K-8 centers across the county.
Miami-Dade Schools Police has officers assigned to traditional middle and high schools.
The agreement comes as the district made a last-minute scramble to comply with Florida mandate to have an armed officer assigned to every school. The new legislation was put in place after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in February.
“This has been a daunting challenge, a massive challenge with a very tight deadline and insufficient funding for it to be realized. And from the very beginning I articulated our plan that we would rely on partnerships, collaboration, cooperation with municipal and county leaders,” said Superintendent Carvalho.
“We did this because we have a moral duty and obligation to protect our children. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has worked months making deals with cities to provide cops to meet the new state law,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.
Some twenty cities will provide officers to schools. Doral police agreeing to staff 11, part of a cobbling together of a cavalry to the rescue”
“We stepped up to the plate, you know. We were given our marching orders by the city administration and we did the necessary internal adjustments to reallocate the personnel,” said Rey Valdes, Doral Police.
City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez assures residents there are enough officers to both secure schools and the community.
“The City of Miami has 1,300 officers city-wide and about 400 that are beat officers and that means and that means that at any given moment there’s over 100 at a given shift,” said Mayor Suarez.
Sweetwater, with only one school, has provided five cops. Four to be used wherever the district wants.
Miami Gardens has agreed to provide 10 officers to guard schools there.
“We will continue to appeal to those city leaders that so far have not elevated this priority as the maximum priority of our community,” Carvalho said.
A school district source called out Homestead, Miami Springs, South Miami, Florida City and Cutler Bay as not being on board.
The school system will have to draw on reserves.
“Just like teachers, we have substitute police officers. We were hoping not to use it,” Carvalho added. “That means some school police detectives will have to get in uniform and go to schools Monday. Miami-Dade students will not be unprotected.”
“We are one hundred percent confident that we will go into Monday with every, single school covered.”
It will make the county the only one in the state with sworn police officers in every school.
The state gave the county $8 million to hire police officers. The real cost of another 260 cops will be nearly ten times that, not to mention the many millions more for physically hardening schools and installing security measures like high-tech surveillance cameras.