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Superintendent says every Palm Beach County school will have a police officer

Posted: 5:43 PM, Aug 01, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-02 00:39:22Z
Every Palm Beach Co. school will have an officer

The Palm Beach County School District Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy announced that every school will have a police officer present on the first day of school and for the entire school year. 

But, municipalities and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (PBSO) stepped up to help make it happen.

44 Police officers from local departments and 10 PBSO deputies will help the district cover every school August 13th, but the agreement is for this school year, the district still has to hire the officers needed to cover all elementary schools in the future. 

Nine Palm Beach County School District Police Officers were sworn in Wednesday, and Police Chief Frank Kitzerow said 3 more will be sworn in the next couple of days.

"I've been retired now for about a year and a half and with everything happening in the schools, I feel like I'm wasting my skills and I feel I can give a lot more of myself to the kids," said Tom Wallace, a former NYPD Officer and 29-year veteran of the Boynton Beach Police Department. 

50 candidates are still in the screening process, according to Kitzerow, but he also added that with the help of the local police chiefs and sheriff's office, now he has more time to make the necessary hires. 

"You want to make sure you're doing it appropriately, efficiently, effectively. We need to hire the right people to put into this environment, it's not anything to take a chance with," said Chief Kitzerow. 

The district is looking for experienced officers who can make it pass the background, psychological, and interview process and a desire to join the school police force in a new age where security is being re-assessed. 

"If we're in an emergency situation and we come out the back end of that, what does it look like? What does the new normal look like? How do we work through the challenges?" added Kitzerow. 

There are also 18 safety enhancement projects in progress at elementary and middle schools.