#schoolsafety | Hernando Co. School Board Considering Forming Police Force

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — The Hernando County School Board is considering forming their own police force rather than contracting with the Sheriff’s Office for school resource officers.

  • Sheriff Al Neinhuis “surprised” district considering move
  • Vote expected at Oct. 22 meeting
  • More Hernando County stories

“We are absolutely 100 percent satisfied with the job the sheriff’s department has done and the [school resource officers] that we currently have — it was not about that,” said Hernando County Superintendent John Stratton.

Instead, Stratton said it comes down to cost. He said for the same amount they’re paying the Sheriff’s Office, they could hire six additional officers, which he said would give them more flexibility. 
“It would also allow us to go from a 10-month contract to 11 and 12-month contracts where then we can stagger and cover summer school and have them more often,” Stratton explained.

Stratton stresses all of the personnel in a district police force would be sworn law enforcement officers. 

“This would become an agency that would solely focus on school safety and hone in on that and become specialists in that area,” he explained.

Sheriff Al Neinhuis said he was surprised when he heard the district was considering this move. 

“I think we’re very well trusted. I think the parents trust us. They know that we’re going to get information out very quickly,” Nienhuis said.

The Sheriff also said having a district police force may not be cost effective. 
“You have to figure in those capital items for replacement and I think you’re going to be talking considerably more money per year than we currently charge the school board,” he explained.

The school board is expected to vote on the district police department during their next meeting on Oct. 22.

Both Superintendent Stratton and Sheriff Neinhuis encourage parents to share their thoughts on the move by emailing board members directly. Their emails are listed below:

Susan Duval – duval_s@hcsb.k12.fl.us

Linda Prescott – prescott_l@hcsb.k12.fl.us

Gus Guadagnino – guadagnino_g@hcsb.k12.fl.us

Kay Hatch – hatch_k@hcsb.k12.fl.us

Jimmy Lodato – lodato_j@hcsb.k12.fl.us

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