Beaches communities to help each other keep schools' safe

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - Leaders from the three beaches communities met Friday to discuss ways to make sure students feel safe going to school.

The mayors of Jacksonville, Neptune and Atlantic Beaches agreed to work together and committed that resources from all three cities would respond to any security incident at any of the 10 schools east of the Intracoastal Waterway.

  • 4 in Jacksonville Beach
  • 3 in Neptune Beach and 
  • 3 in Atlantic Beach


"We’ve been very actively engaged on a regular basis on shooter drills, active shooter drills," Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham. "We have three elementary schools and a middle school in Jacksonville Beach and we train constantly for the worst, unfortunately."

"Communicating with the officers inside the school, letting them know that we're around, being a part of training with them, being a part of knowing exactly what the layout of the school is, when school is not in session; being there on a daily basis, doing more perimeter checks," Neptune Beach Mayor Elaine Brown said.

"We don’t have a full-time school resource officer here for our elementary school," Atlantic Beach Mayor Ellen Glasser said. "That would be a wonderful thing to have, so that really is going to involve funding and that’s just one of the pieces in terms of what needs to happen locally."

Earlier this week, law enforcement officials, city leaders, the beaches' district school board member and the chief of police for Duval County School Board Police met to make sure everyone was on the same page on security protocols.

Many of them said that things as simple as keeping doors locked can make a difference. They are hopeful that Gov. Rick Scott’s school safety plan will be enacted, which would put a school resource officer in every public schools. Currently only Fletcher High School has a full time resource officer assigned. Starting Monday, two Neptune Beach police officers will be assigned to patrol schools.

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