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What kind of training would school safety assistants go through?

Plan calls for Duval County school district to hire 103 armed employees

File photo
File photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Armed school safety assistants will be on Duval County elementary school campuses next school year if approved by the school board.

Many have asked what kind of training would they go through.

The answer is hours and hours of training. That's what all Florida law enforcement officers go through before officially starting the job. 

According to Duval County Public Schools, that's also what school safety assistants would go through, even though they won't be sworn officers.

To be specific, school safety assistants will undergo 144 hours of training through the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and 16 hours through the Duval County School Police Department.

But what kind of training would that be? 

The Sheriff's Office declined to comment on the details of the training.

But according to Duval County school police:

  • The school safety assistant's primary function would be to aid in the prevention of active assailant incidents. 
  • They would only be appointed after completing the approved program established by JSO.
  • They would have no authority to act in any law enforcement capacity. 
  • The role would exclude individuals who exclusively perform classroom duties. 

Aside from the 160 hours of training, the Duval County school district said, the school safety assistants would also have to complete ongoing training, weapon inspection, annual firearm qualifications and 12 hours of diversity training. 

They would also already have to hold a valid weapon carry permit, which would be one of the very first steps.

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Green Acres Sporting Goods sales manager Z. Farhat said the school safety assistant training would be much more advanced than the concealed carry class his business teaches.

"It basically gives them a lot of gun entry-level safety and live firing with a weapon so they're familiar with all the safety aspects that go into owning a gun and firing a gun," Farhat said. 

The 103 positions would be hired by the school district. They would be district employees and they would report to the school police department. 

Even though the Duval County School Board won’t vote on the school safety assistant plan until May 1, the district asked anyone interested in applying for the position to call 904-390-2000.

If passed by the board, the district hopes to start hiring by the beginning of next month.