Duval school police director confident in new school safety assistant program

107 employees to be armed at elementary schools beginning next school year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The director of the Duval County School Police Department expressed confidence in the new school safety assistant program, which will hire and train 107 new employees who will be armed at elementary schools beginning next school year.

Director Micheal Edwards sat down Thursday with News4Jax to talk more about the plan that the Duval County School Board passed 6-1 during its meeting Tuesday evening. 

Elementary schools, such as Parkwood Heights, have school resource officers who check in each day, but the schools don't have someone armed on campus full-time.

That will change Aug. 13.

Inside Edwards' office is the timeline of events for hiring 107 school safety assistants.

"The job went live on our site yesterday, late yesterday," Edwards said Thursday afternoon. "As of 15 to 20 minutes ago ,we’ve already had approximately 20 people to apply so that’s very good in such short notice."

A school safety assistant is required by Florida law to have 144 hours of training.

Edwards said Duval County's school safety assistants will receive more than that -- 144 hours of training from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and 16 hours from his department.