The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded more than $1.4 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Police Services or COPS to fund School Resource Officers.
Sheriff Larry Ashley, a staunch advocate of school resource officers in public schools, plans to use the grant to fund the salaries of ten of its twenty-six additional School Resource Officer positions.
Overall, the COPS Office awarded grants totaling more than $125 million to 263 cities and counties across the nation, with approximately $45 million of that helping to fund school resource officers.
73 Florida agencies applied for this grant with only 15 receiving awards.
Grantees were selected based on their fiscal needs, local crime rates, and their community policing plans. The four year program provides approximately 75% salary and benefits for the school resource deputies with local funds covering 25% for the first three years.