MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Thirty new Miami-Dade Schools Police officers were sworn in on Tuesday.
It was the largest number of officers to be sworn in ever to the school system.
“I was fortunate to be drafted by the New England Patriots so that was a big accomplishment for me but I went to school for criminal justice,” said new school police officer Kareem Brown.
While they came from different backgrounds and experiences, they were united in their desire to protect and help the students.
“Mentor kids and be that role model for them,” said Brown.
Former high school teacher Jandro Suarez said he they want to be leaders that the kids can approach and relate to.
“I was an algebra one teacher for ESC students for Special Ed. I still wanna be able to help the kids and hang out with them and help them not to fear the uniform,” he said.
The new officers are part of an effort to meet the state’s mandated “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act,” which requires at least one school safety officer at every school.
“We continue to renew our vow that cannot happen in the school system that cannot happen anywhere in America,” said Miami-Dae Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Edwin Lopez said it takes someone special to be able to dedicate their lives to the service and protection of children.
“As the school resource officer, you may play mother or father one day or guardian. You may be a coach. You may be a tutor to these students,” said Lopez.
As they all received their badges, they received the responsibility of their new role.
“If I have to risk my life for a child or anyone I would do it. That’s exactly why I am here. I want to make sure they’re safe and when the parents drop their students off, they know they’re safe because we’re here,” said new Officer Leslie Llanos.
At this point, the Miami-Dade Schools Police department has 103 officers and are more than halfway to their goal of 200.