WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — One day after a Palm Beach County School Board member publicly sought input on a proposal to have sheriff's deputies take over the role of school police, the item has been removed from the agenda.
Dr. Debra Robinson wrote in a Facebook post Monday that there was a discussion on Wednesday's school board agenda "to ask the (Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office) to submit a proposal to take over school police."
However, by Tuesday afternoon, the agenda item, proposed by Vice Chair Karen Brill, had been withdrawn.
"School Board Vice Chairwoman Karen Brill no longer wishes to discuss this topic," a line now reads in the board discussion items.
After receiving more than 40 replies to her initial post as of Tuesday afternoon, Robinson wrote in a separate post Tuesday that "the request to ask the sheriff for a proposal to merge with/takeover school police has been withdrawn."
According to the School District of Palm Beach County, all departments within the district are in the midst of a hiring freeze during the budgeting process for the 2022 fiscal year.
School police currently have 48 vacant positions, although the district said all schools will continue to have a minimum of one police officer on campus to comply with state regulations.
Data provided to WPTV from the district shows that 13 school police positions have been vacated since the start of 2021, including 12 officers. The data shows that seven individuals left the department either for personal reasons or via resignation.
It was not immediately clear why Brill sought to discuss the matter, and neither school board member offered an explanation as to why the agenda item was withdrawn.
WPTV attempted to reach Brill and Robinson for comment but did not receive a reply.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office would not comment.