FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. – The Clay County Schools Police Department swore in its first class of officers Thursday evening.
Led by Chief Kenneth Wagner, the inaugural class of 46 officers received their assignments and pins in front of a crowd of family and friends gathered inside a School Board meeting held at Fleming Island High School.
Their orders are contained within a 150-plus-page document, which covers their basic duties including guidelines on arrests, disciplinary procedures and victim assistance. It also outlines how to deal with people suffering from mental illness.
Officer Hermandes Muse, who received his pin from his son, James, has 31 years of law enforcement experience and retired from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
"I'm looking forward to working with small kids, looking forward to being an influence on the children, working with the staff at the school," Muse said. "I'm absolutely ready... protect the students of the schools as well as the staff."
Although the ceremony was Thursday, the officers' work actually began June 6. Since then, they’ve been training -- from active shooter drills to education on mental health and special needs -- and getting outfitted with equipment, uniforms and vehicles.
The officers aren’t green, either. Their experience ranges from five to 37 years. Most of them come from Northeast Florida, but there are officers who hail from Alabama and Georgia as well.
The first day of school for Clay County students is Aug. 13. Teachers head back next week.