It’s official: Clay schools will have its own police department

Sheriff Daniels withdraws plan as schools win state approval


FLEMING ISLAND – Sheriff Darryl Daniels pulled his proposal to keep Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies in Clay County schools from the Board of County Commissioners agenda meeting Tuesday night, paving the way for the school board to create its own police force and ending weeks of back-and-forth between Daniels and the school board.

The school board hired former CCSO lieutenant Kenneth Wagner as the school’s new police chief on Feb. 25. Daniels then proposed in an open letter a plan that would keep CCSO deputies in schools and would do so with help in funding from the county. The school board would cover the cost of officers at school, but during non-school related events, or during school vacations where officers would be given assignments elsewhere, the county would cover the costs.

That idea never made it to last Tuesday’s BCC agenda.

“At this time, Sheriff Daniels’ has removed his most recent proposition/plan from the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) agenda scheduled for tonight, March 12, 2019,” stated the post on the official Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Florida, Facebook page.

The post said Daniels made the decision, citing a lack of interest from the school board.

“This revised proposition/plan was submitted to the school board members, along with the school superintendent, however no interest was shown from most members,” the post reads. “Considering that this proposition/plan was not acted upon by the school board, there is nothing to gain by asking the BCC for additional funding, until such time that the school board changes their current decision.”

The school board also got the approval from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to create its own police department. The school board now can formally create job descriptions and allocations and start the hiring process.

“This is it,” Davis said. “Truly, this puts us in a situation where we can start the hiring process to make sure we seek to obtain highly qualified, trained and skilled individuals to protect our children along with our adults on campuses. This allows us to open and launch our initiative to continue and serve to protect our students.”

The reason the school board decided to create its own police department – much like most university campuses across the nation – was costs. Daniels tried to close the gap with his open letter, but the school board apparently still was ready to go in its own direction.


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