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Friday, August 31, 2018

Students will be safer in Doral

Por Kvothe

The School Board of the Miami-Dade County agreed with the City of Doral to place armed police officers in the public schools of that municipality for this new school year. With this measure, four Doral public schools will have an armed officer. Charter schools are in separate negotiations with the City to ensure the presence of an armed guard as well.

"It is important that our students feel safe when they are going to learn and that parents feel that their children are being protected," said Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermúdez.

The mayor explained that the municipal aid for the security of the schools will not affect the finances of the city council and that the taxes will not be increased. The City of Doral will receive a contribution from the School Board of just over 140,000 dollars (approximately 35,088.00 dollars per school) during the 2018-2019 school year. The figure will allow assigning an armed officer in each of the four public schools of the municipality.

"The city already had five officers (...) who worked with the schools and three more that we were going to add," said Bermúdez, who also said that because of that, "from a fiscal point of view, the impact will be minimal".

The schools that will have an armed officer are the K-8 Dr. Ronaldo Espinosa Center, the K-8 Eugenia B. Thomas Center, the John I. Smith K-8 Center and the Dr. Toni Bilbao Preparatory Academy.

The measure was congratulated by Sussie Castillo, a member of the School Board that represents the Doral schools. "I am very grateful to the City of Doral that it has reached an agreement with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools to provide additional police officers on campus," Castillo said.

The presence of armed security in schools is a measure required by the state of Florida passed by the state legislature after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on February 14.

Miami-Dade County will provide guards in unincorporated areas and in cities used by the County Police.

Doral is not the first city in South Florida to strengthen security since Miami Beach took similar measures at six schools in June.

Bermúdez recalled that this is not the first time that the security of the Doral schools is increased. The City also decided to reinforce security on the campus after the death of the Tornado Miranda student in 2012 in a drug case.

Since that time, the mayor added, the municipal government reinforced security by focusing on drug prevention campaigns. Bermúdez emphasized that $ 1.2 million of the municipal budget is allocated annually for the safety of public schools.