Education

Public schools in Doral will soon have armed police officers

Miami Herald Archives
Miami Herald Archives El Nuevo Herald

Four Miami-Dade public schools in Doral will now have armed police officers assigned to the campuses every school day until June 2019, city officials say.

The decision was made by the Doral city council on Wednesday after moving forward with a “Memo of Understanding.”

“Following the tragedy earlier this year at Parkland, city leadership has diligently explored viable solutions to ensure the safety of our students, while being mindful of existing jurisdictions,” said Doral spokeswoman Maggie Santos. “With this [memo], the city will partner with [Miami-Dade County Public Schools] to assign school-based law enforcement officers.”

In June, Miami Beach instituted a similar measure at six of its schools.

The four Doral schools: Dr. Ronaldo Espinosa K-8 Center, Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center, John I. Smith K-8 Center and Dr. Toni Bilbao Preparatory Academy.

The goal? “Providing a visible deterrent to crime,” said Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez.

How much will it cost the school board? Approximately $35,088.00 per school, which totals $140,352 for the year.

After the 2018-19 school year, there will be an option to renew the contract twice until 2021.

“It’s important that our students feel safe when they go to learn and that parents feel that their children are being protected,” Bermudez said. “This partnership with the school board is certainly a step in the right direction as we come together for the common goal of achieving that secure and conducive school environment that our families deserve.”

City officials say they are currently in negotiations with charter schools in Doral to see if similar protections can be arranged.

Armed school security is required under a state law passed after the Feb. 14 massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Miami-Dade County, which will supply officers in unincorporated areas and in cities that use county police, expects it will cost about $20 million for 2019.

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