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Graduation for Final Group of Hillsborough School Security Officers Hired and Trained to Protect Students and Staff

April 17, 2019

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications


Ceremony and Thank You to Law Enforcement Agencies

Tampa, Fla. – (April 17, 2019) – On Thursday, April 18, from 5-7 p.m., the final group of School Security Officers hired to protect students and staff on our campuses will be celebrated at a graduation ceremony. The officers have all gone through more than 100 hours of training by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, including active shooter response, defensive tactics, and firearms training, in addition to training the district provides.

The graduation ceremony, held at the Instructional Services Center (2920 N. 40th St., Tampa), will also be a thank you to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Tampa Police Department and Plant City Police Department who partnered with Hillsborough Schools to ensure the district was in full compliance with state legislation requiring an armed, trained security officer at every school.

Sheriff Chad Chronister, Chief Brian Dugan and Chief Ed Duncan, who will all be in attendance at the ceremony, ensured one of their officers or deputies was on every campus beginning on the first day of school until our district was able to hire the 210 additional officers and supervisors needed to staff every elementary school and charter school. These agencies now have their full staff back, patrolling the streets in our communities.

Damien Kelly, the Director of the State’s Office of Safe Schools will also be in attendance for the graduation. Just last week, Hillsborough Schools Chief of Security John Newman met with Director Kelly and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission in South Florida to discuss how Hillsborough Schools’ team, through the direction of Superintendent Jeff Eakins and School Board members, has been able to quickly become fully compliant with the state mandate.

The state legislation put a strain on the manpower and finances for Hillsborough Schools, however our district’s top priority is to make our schools safe learning environments for all students.

Many of our School Security officers are current or former law enforcement officers or have a military background. In addition to the officers, our district maintains a number of other security measures including access control on our campuses. All visitors to our schools, including parents, volunteers and community partners must enter through the main office, show a state-issued ID and sign-in.

Hillsborough Schools also conducts lockdown drills on our campuses once a month, which is required by state law. The drill practices how our teachers, staff and students would respond to an active, immediate threat on campus.


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