May 14-20 is National Police Officer week, and in recognition of the men and women in uniform who protect our students every day, The School District of Palm Beach County would like to thank its School Police team.
Established in 1972, the Palm Beach County School Police Department is one of only a few dedicated police departments serving school districts in the State of Florida. First accredited in 2003, the department is made up of more than 150 officers and K9 officers ready to serve and protect school campuses, students and staff.
School policing is a special calling because it isn’t a typical street beat with details that could change each shift. Instead, the officers are assigned to specific schools and become part of the fabric of the school family – offering mentoring, friendship and, of course, safety for everyone on campus.
Many of the tips that are received by the School Police Department are provided by students who have formed a relationship with their officers and form a bond of trust and respect to work together in keeping schools focused on education.
Throughout the year the School Police Department also conducts community building events such as Shop with a School Cop, Pizza with a Cop and it also participates in Lake Worth’s annual Gay Pride parade, walking in support of LGBTQ+ students in the District.
The Department also provides early positive interaction, including programs such as the Multi-Agency Gang Task Force, Youth Court Program, Violence Intervention Techniques and Language (V.I.T.A.L.), Bus Camera Program, Safe Schools and Student Crime Stoppers.
Officers conduct more than 160 hours of training each year on how to respond to emergency situations and also lead the required lockdowns and drills each school conducts to prepare should there be an emergency.
The District is actively looking to add at least 75 more police officers to its staff, providing officers stationed on every campus of District-operated schools. To learn more about the job and how to apply, click here.
Tuesday, flags across the School District will be at half-staff to honor all officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Throughout the week, take a moment to their the officers at your schools and share your appreciation on social media by tagging @SchoolPolicePBC