Walton County school board members approved a plan Tuesday to hire six additional school resource deputies.
"The first thing we did was make a recommendation to keep SRO’s throughout the school year and place those in schools we didn't have them at that time which was elementary schools” said Walton County Facilities Director Mark Gardner.
"I think right now the biggest thing was just actually getting those deputies in to the school for protection of our children" said Walton County Sheriff’s Investigator Wendy Ammons.
The additions will bring the total number of Walton County SRD’s to sixteen. The school district will pay some of the cost with money from safe schools funding. The sheriff's office has agreed to cover the difference.
"The sheriff's department made a commitment to pay a portion of the funding throughout the remainder of this school year" said Gardner.
But the agreement is only a short-term fix.
"Far as the SRD’s we're going to look at it as a line item in our budget for next school year. They will be in place for the remainder of this school year. I think it provides us a sense of safety and security to our students and faculty about the situation. Just having a deputy there” said Gardner.
Okaloosa county school officials recently struck a similar deal with the sheriff's office to keep deputies on all campuses through the end of this school year.