Holy Trinity, BCSO reach agreement on school resource officer


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Members of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, including Sheriff Wayne Ivey, center, pose with Holy Trinity President Katherine Cobb, second from left in front, and other members of the school's administration. Holy Trinity has reached an agreement with the BCSO to have a deputy sheriff serve as a full-time resource officer at the school. Holy Trinity is the first private school in the county to have such a contract.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy of Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy

 

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) and Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy have reached an agreement to enhance the safety of the school’s students and faculty for the 2018-19 school year.

Although the school has partnered with the BCSO previously to use off-duty officers to be on campus for more than a year, Holy Trinity is the first private school in Brevard County to sign a formal agreement to have a deputy assigned full-time as a school resource officer.

The announcement was made last month by Holy Trinity President Katherine Cobb and Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey after the contract was officially signed.

“The deputies that are doing it on a contractual basis are awesome,” Sheriff Wayne Ivey said. “They put their heart and passion into protecting the students here, and our faculty. But when you have someone that is permanently assigned to a school, there’s a seamless delivery of services.

“They know everybody on the campus. If somebody is here that’s not supposed to be, they know it. They know all the nuances of the campus and everything else. It just furthers that already existing partnership and does it in a time that, right now, none of us thought we would ever see, but it unfortunately is a very troubling trend throughout our country.”

There are currently 38 school resource officers in Brevard County, which has 98 schools (including charter schools). Ivey said the sheriff’s office is now in negotiations with Brevard County Public Schools on a formal agreement of their own.

Cobb, meanwhile, was the first to contact the sheriff about getting a permanent school resource officer assigned to the campus.

“Our students deserve it and our parents desire it,” Cobb said. “I wanted to make sure we were quick to react on this, not only because of the environment, but because we know (Sheriff Ivey’s) resources are limited. By coming in first, we know we’ll be secured with a deputy on Aug. 1 when school begins.”

Cobb believes having an officer with a close relationship to the school can only be beneficial.

“We’re obviously excited about this opportunity, but we’re really looking forward to having this school resource officer assimilate into our community here,” she said. “… This individual will get to know our students by name, and our faculty, and that way we’ll work toward preventing any problems before they occur because of that relationship.”

With the number of school shootings on the rise in the United States — including February’s deadly incident that took 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — the importance of school security has never been more imperative.

“I think the importance of today, with what this school has done, is taking that step and saying we’re going to protect every person that sets foot on this campus, and we’re going to do it in great partnership with the sheriff’s office,” Ivey said.

The sheriff stressed there is “no more important mission than protecting our community and our schools within that community.”