WINK | By Danielle Garcia | July 22, 2021
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office will take over duties of policing schools in Fort Myers.
Until recently, the Fort Myers Police Department provided school resource officers to schools within the city.
The Parkland school shooting in 2018 led the Florida Legislature to enact laws requiring school resource officers.
The Cape Coral Police Department and the Sanibel Police Department both provide school resource officers to the schools within their district.
That will no longer be the case in Fort Myers.
On Wednesday, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the school district learned that Fort Myers would no longer be offering the services.
“We got a message just yesterday or the day before basically saying that the Lee County Sheriff’s Office will have the SROs in all of Fort Myers as well as Lee County schools,” said Gwynetta Gittens, Lee County school district board member. “Even though there may be changes as to who is there, parents need not worry that there definitely will be a protection.”
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said he plans to reassign deputies from different areas but that will not impact street patrols.
“It’s important to remember that when you have to take 23-plus members of an agency and you have to start redirecting those resources, it takes a lot and takes a lot of planning,” Marceno said.
According to the school district, it costs about $100,000 for each SRO in a school. That includes salary, benefits, training and equipment.
The school district and each police department share those costs.
WINK News asked the Fort Myers Police Department why it will no longer staff school resource officers but the agency declined to comment.