Safety and Security
Alachua County Public Schools’ Office of Safety and Security was established to direct and oversee all safety and security-related activities in the district. That includes collaboration with local law enforcement, training for students and staff, ‘hardening’ of facilities, crisis response and other issues.
The new office is led by Chief Casey Hamilton, who recently retired from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and has more than twenty years of law enforcement experience, including several as a school resource officer.
A law passed by the Florida Legislature in the spring of 2018 requires a full time school resource officer/deputy at all public schools. Thanks to an ongoing partnership with local law enforcement agencies, Alachua County Public Schools has had SROs/SRDs assigned to every school for several years now. Additional officers have been hired to fully implement the new law.
The law also mandates training for all public school employees and students to prepare them for an active threat on campus, such as an armed assailant. Again, Alachua County Public Schools already had a head start on this requirement, having conducting ALICE training (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training with employees during the 2016-17 and 2018-19 school years and provided opportunities for parents to receive the training as well. ALICE is a nationally-recognized and very highly-regarded program used in many schools and other settings throughout the nation.
By law, all students must receive age-appropriate ALICE training during the first week of school and again during the first week of the second semester, which falls in January. The training will include both videos and direct discussion between students and teachers. Links to the video and other information about ALICE is provided below.
Parents and students have a very important role to play in ensuring the safety of our campuses. We encourage you and your children to report any concerns, suspicious activity, troubling social media postings or other issues to your principal, teacher, school resource officer or other adult at the school.
Please be assured that the safety of students, staff and visitors to our schools is Alachua County Public Schools’ top priority.