School Resource Deputy Program
“The welfare of our youth will always be a top priority. As the new school year approaches our community, your sheriff remains steadfastly committed to the best practices that have protected our children, teachers, and staff on our public school campuses. As stipulated in Senate Bill 7026, it is vital that every public school campus in our community and our state has a trained, experienced professional on every public school campus each and everyday school is in session. Our agency’s 33 years of excellence in our public schools is a testament to the unmatched professionalism that these dedicated deputy sheriffs bring to their jobs each and every day. There are none better!”
Sheriff Mike Prendergast
In 2005, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office School Resource Deputy Unit received national recognition as being a model SRD program. We take great pride in providing innovative educational curriculum. A School Resource Deputy (SRD) is a law enforcement officer who is assigned to either an elementary, middle, or high school.
The main goal of the SRD is to prevent juvenile delinquency by promoting positive relations between youth and law enforcement. This program encompasses three major components that allow the SRD to achieve this goal: law enforcement, education, and counseling.
Each SRD is assigned to a specific school which allows the deputy to become familiar with the school's internal atmosphere. SRDs also provide a variety of services and benefits for the school community, to include:
- A safe and secure learning environment.
- A more efficient and effective response to emergencies, law enforcement investigations, and applicable arrests.
- Classroom lessons concerning the law, personal choices/responsibilities, and other law-enforcement related topics.
- A better opportunity to establish a positive relationship with the students in a non-confrontational setting. Allowing for the SRD to serve as a role model, resource and mentor to students that may need additional support.
From cyberbullying to drug education, school resource deputies are trained to teach courses relevant to students. The SRD Unit teaches the following programs:
Our successful school resource deputy program is a collaborative effort by certified law enforcement officers, educators, students, parents and the community to offer educational programs in the schools and reduce crime, drug abuse and violence - all of which contribute to a safe school environment.
There are currently 19 School Resource Deputies assigned to each elementary, middle and high school in the Citrus County School District. This includes our alternative school (Renaissance Center) and WTC. The program also has 3 supervisors who divide the county and assist by providing additional coverage in the schools.
School Threats Are No Joke
In 2019, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice announced a new awareness campaign aimed at addressing school threats made by students in Florida. The “It’s No Joke” campaign aims to dissuade youth from making school threats because doing so can lead to being arrested and charged with a felony.
Here at the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, we take any and all threats made to our schools seriously. The safety of our students and school staff is our number one priority. If you have information regarding a possible school threat, please call 9-1-1 immediately.