School Resource Unit
The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February of 2018 led to a new law that put more emphasis on protecting our schools. As a result, the School Resource Unit expanded dramatically to place a law enforcement officer at every public school in the county, as opposed to the previous staffing of just middle and high schools.
The Highlands County Sheriff's Office has 18 deputies in public schools, including one at South Florida State College. There are also five crossing guards that are part of the unit. They are supervised by one sergeant and a lieutenant.
The three schools are inside the Sebring city limits and are staffed by Sebring Police Department Officers. The group trains together whenever possible.
Goals of the School Resource Unit
Safety & Security of All Students, Teachers, Staff and Campuses
- Create a safe learning environment
- Be visible on campus
- Report any safety concerns
- Peer leadership: Help the team be the best unit
- Promote and recruit for Explorers
Be a Positive Role Model to Your Students
Be a Mentor and Coach
Portray Law Enforcement in a Positive Manner
- Talk with students and parents
Be a Team Member of the School Staff
Liaison and provide resource informationThe Resource Deputies regularly conduct security checks on campus and also coordinate drills to help students and staff be prepared in the event of an active shooter on their campus.
- Mental health services
- Child Protective Services
- Substance Abuse,
- Domestic Violence Service
- Family Counseling
School Resource Deputies offer more than just security and law enforcement. They are role models and mentors for our students and work to intervene when they come across a troubled student who may be heading down the wrong path in life.
The Resource Deputies also accompany a large group of students to the Florida Sheriff Youth Ranch Summer Camp each year. This free week-long camp offers a wide variety of activities and gives the students a chance to bond with the School Resource Deputies. (For more information, speak to your school's Resource Deputy or Officer).
They also work with Explorers Post 2247, which gives students the chance to get involved with the Sheriff's Office as a possible first step on a law enforcement career, as well as the DARE program.