Every Campus Has School District Police Officer

Every Campus Now Has a Palm Beach County School District Police Officer
Posted on 10/01/2020
Each School District of Palm Beach County campus now has a School District police officer onsite, keeping students and staff safe each day. In the past two years, the District Police department has hired more than 150 new officers. This brings the total number of officers to about 275, with hiring of additional officers still in the works.

Some of the officers are new to law enforcement, but the updated ranks also includes experienced former police chiefs, deputy chiefs, SWAT Team members, and Palm Beach County deputies.

"I feel very fortunate that they are choosing us," said Chief Frank Kitzerow. "You look at the people we’ve hired over the past few years, these are very experienced people. Having an officer on every campus makes our processes even more efficient because now we can see it through the lens of school-based policing and it takes us to a whole new level."

With 179 schools in the District, there are several elements involved in school security, and the COVID-19 pandemic added another layer of concern.

"Just keeping schools safe in the traditional sense in working through the threat assessments, intervention, prevention, diversion, that in itself is challenging and time-consuming,” Kitzerow said. “But now we’re working on a whole new front with COVID-19 and keeping our officers and students safe. It adds a lot to the job. It was busy before, and now it is really incredibly busy."

In the face of mounting challenges and responsibilities, officers continue to uphold the main purpose of their job, which is to protect students and staff.

"They want to help and they want to be in there. When you think about what we ask these officers to do, it's really quite remarkable,” Kitzerow said. “If a catastrophic event were to occur, they’re going to go down that hall by themselves. That’s a pretty tall order, and I’m so proud of the people who are willing to put themselves into that situation."

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