Miami Beach city commissioners have approved a measure to have police officers stationed at all public schools in the city by the start of the next school year.
“There is nothing more important to many of our students, like me, I’ve got a kid graduating high school today and another one about to go into high school. I want my children to feel comfortable in school and this plan is going to allow us to do that,” said Dan Gelber, the mayor of Miami Beach.
The commission voted unanimously to place full-time police officers in the city’s six schools, including three elementary schools.
“The most important thing to interrupt an active shooter is a prompt response from police as possible,” said Chief Daniel Oates of Miami Beach Police. “It really will increase the safety umbrella for our students and provide reassurance for parents in Miami Beach.”
And the city will be making its own investment in hiring additional officers. Miami Dade’s superintendent Alberto Carvalho thanked the city for being the first to make the commitment, saying that funds from Tallahassee are not nearly enough.
“We already spent $50 million in safety and security in Miami-Dade. So, $10 million basically reduces the liability but does not fully cover, so we depend on partnerships,” said Carvalho.
As part of the safe schools plan, Miami-Dade County public schools has hired 100 additional resource officers, limited entry points at schools, installed cameras, improved communications systems and hired additional mental health personnel, among other measures.
Carvalho hopes that other cities will follow Miami Beach’s lead and they will be able to reach agreements with other municipalities if there are police officers in every school in Miami-Dade before the beginning of the next school year.