SUBURBAN WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Palm Beach County School District is one step closer to deciding who will be in charge of keeping children safe. Thursday the district is interviewing the finalists for the school's next police chief.
The district announced in March that the position of chief, currently filled by Chief Lawrence Leon, was being restructured.
The position will now be two levels higher, will report to the superintendent and will have a seat on his cabinet.
“We need someone that brings a lot of experience to the table," Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy said. "(someone who) commands a level of respect and helps all of us feel safe and secure."
The department is doubling in size and the district says it is focused on making sure officers connect with kids and that they feel safe at school.
"There are parts of the school resource officer that are beyond the security, it is interacting with the kids," Fennoy said. "So what does that day to day interaction look like and how do we get better at what we do and meet all our goals of our strategic plan from the police side of the organization."
Six finalists will be interviewed Thursday; four of them call Palm Beach County home.
-Current Chief Lawrence Leon: He became chief in 2012 and was invited to apply.
-Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow, he was appointed in 2005.
-Boynton Beach Assistant Chief Vanessa Snow
-Riviera Beach Acting Assistant Chief Leonard Mitchell
-Northern Arizona University Police Chief Kelli Smith
-Metro Nashville School District Major Jason Overbay