OSCEOLA COUNTY, FL – A special committee recommends that all school resource officers in Osceola County be required to wear body cameras.
The recommendation was made at the fourth meeting of the ORS Citizens Advisory Working Group, which was created by school board member Julius Melendez after a student withdrew from Liberty High School in January.
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“It’s about seeing the big picture,” Melendez said. “When you combine it with everything else, it just helps you see what really happened.”
School resource officers at the St. Cloud Police Department are currently equipped with body cameras, but there is no similar policy for the Kissimmee Police Department or the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
Melendez said the committee may have received a commitment from the Kissimmee Police Chief to outfit the department’s 16 ORSs, but a representative from the sheriff’s office said about $ 235,000 would be needed to outfit his 65 school resource assistants. .
“They said they could probably work around 22 cameras to upgrade their high school student population within two years,” Melendez said.
The committee’s recommendation is to deploy the equipment by the start of the school year, which Melendez says could become a reality if the sheriff’s office explores grant options for funding.
“When the school district can say, ‘This is a priority for us and we can work closely with them.’ We can find ways to fix that, ”Melendez said.
The working group is scheduled to meet again in late April, where members plan to finalize a list of recommendations for the school board.
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