Hillsborough approves more security at elementary campuses - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough board approves more security at elementary campuses

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The Hillsborough County School Board approved a plan to place armed officers on campuses throughout the county next year.

Armed officers are on each middle and high school campus in Hillsborough, but just a fraction of the elementary schools have officers assigned to them.

School Superintendent MaryEllen Elia proposed putting officers at each elementary campus in January. Tampa Police and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office volunteered to be there until summer break. Elia asked the board to approve funding to keep them permanently there.

"The school board has some concerns. They voted it down… concerns about the cost, concerns about moving too quickly," explained Hillsborough County Schools Communication Director Steve Hegarty. "It's a big expense and it's a big move for us. So the school board wanted to have some consideration, more deliberation."

The approved revamped security proposal from Elia  would phase in elementary school officers over time, so the high cost wouldn't occur all at once. The first phase would bring 20 officers to elementary schools in 2014. The $800,000 cost would be paid for with a grant given to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and money from the school board budget.

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