Volusia County considering upgrades to school security

Volusia County considering upgrades to school security

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The Volusia County School District wants to put deputies in each of its elementary schools across the district. The problem is, they don't have the money to do it. School Superintendent Dr. Margaret Smith met with Sheriff Ben Johnson today. Both admitted right now, they can't do it.

"Well, there's just no way financially we can do that," said Sheriff Ben Johnson. "The school district absolutely does not have the money to put into more security," added Margaret Smith, Volusia County schools superintendent.

Facing a $25 million shortfall for it's educational needs, the district is doing the best they can with what they already have. Sheriff Ben Johnson said they have gone over security assessments that have already been done.

"We're going to go back with the School Board, and we're going to take and reevaluate these different assessments they did," said Johnson, "and what else might we be able to do at this time."

The sheriff said not every change will be publicized.

"There are certain things that we are going to do, we are doing, that we're not going to discuss," he said.

Dr. Smith says some things will be noticeable, like parents having to wait longer and be cleared each time they come on campus.

"We have, as I mentioned, a very comprehensive safety and security plan already in our district, and we've stepped that up, and we are being very diligent about access to the school sites."

Sheriff Johnson and Dr. Smith both acknowledged to FOX 35 that preventing another Sandy Hook takes the right breaks, and they just can't assure parents it would never happen here.

"I don't know if you can ever 100 percent guarantee you can stop that type of action," said Smith.

Both believe that the answer lies in the Florida Legislature. They will both go to Tallahassee and meet with lawmakers to ask for a permanent and dedicated source for school security funding.

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