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Jackson County Sheriff takes on school security duties

Jackson County Sheriff takes on school security duties

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Sheriff takes on school security duties

Jackson County Sheriff Donnie Edenfield, left, and Jackson County School Superintendent Steve Benton hold the contract they signed Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday, April 28, the Jackson County School Board voted to enter into a contract with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), formalizing an agreement that the law enforcement agency will provide security for all county public schools.

Shortly following the vote, the contract was signed between the school district and Jackson County Sheriff Donnie Edenfield.

This move, effective July 1 and in effect for 12 months at a time, will replace the current Jackson County School Board Police Department.

Officials say the school system will pay JCSO $1.4 million for the service in its inaugural year, an amount that includes some startup costs that are not be expected to carry forward into subsequent contract years, should the arrangement continue.

Once the transition takes place, every school resource deputy Edenfield assigns to the duty will also have full authority throughout the county, should their duties require them to follow up on an off-campus situation.

Authorities say that, additionally, the school system will have the full resources of JCSO to pull from, including the Criminal Investigations Division, Training Division, Narcotic Detection K-9s and more.

During the summer months, when school is not in regular session, the school-assigned deputies may be called upon to assist with the Teen Driving Challenge, Sheriff’s Office Summer Camps, and summer school.

JCSO is currently accepting applications for school resource deputies.

Applicants must be 19 or older, hold current law enforcement standards certification in Florida, and be able to pass a background check, psychological evaluation and physical.

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