Pines Wants School System To Help Pay For Classroom Cops






Voters were told before they approved $800 million in bonds earlier this month that the new taxes would improve safety in the schools.

Now Pembroke Pines is testing that pledge.

In a letter to School Superintendent Robert Runcie, Mayor Frank Ortis has asked for help in paying for police officers at every Pembroke Pines school.

Although Ortis mentions the promises made during the promotion of the bond issue, the mayor wants money from the general budget. The bond money is restricted to capital improvements and repairs.

The refusal of the school system to pay for officers at each school has long annoyed many Broward cities.

Some city officials believe it is the legal responsibility of the school system to pay for the school resource officers.  The problem in Pembroke Pines and some other ccommunities is that cities often want more officers than the school system is willing to fund.

No answer from Runcie to Ortis’ letter yet.

Ortis’ letter is here:

Pines letter

9 Responses to “Pines Wants School System To Help Pay For Classroom Cops”

  1. Disgust. Discuss says:

    1. The newly acquired bond money is for capital expenses, not operating. The Pembroke Pines schools will be receiving funding for the capital needs in their schools.
    2. Not one member of the Pembroke Pines commission supported the aquisition of the additional funding. They actually worked against it (with the very limited ability to impact the community they have.)
    3. Policing the community of Pembroke Pines is responsibility of the City of Pembroke Pines Commission and the Broward Sherrif Office. Maybe it is the school district that should be looking for a reduction. Additionally, the district should look at hiring retired military and police officers instead of very high priced active officers.
    4. Is there a community that contributes less to Broward County but demands more? That is rhetorical. We all know the answer is no.

  2. Senator Steve Geller says:

    Without taking any position on whether the School Board should fund SRO’s in any City (I am taking no position on this here), I question whether the Bonds are the appropriate source for this. Generally, Bonds should be used for one time Capital projects, and not for continuing operations. Continuing expenses, such as Salary, Insurance, etc. should be paid out of continuing sources of revenue.


    There is some confusion here. The money Pembroke Pines is requesting is from the general funds for School Security Officers and not the bond money.

  3. Alice McGill says:

    Pembroke Pines’ wish list is longer than that of a spoiled 4 year old in a toy store. They constantly clamor for something.

  4. Kevin Hill says:

    I think using bonds to cover operating expenses and not capital improvements might be illegal under Florida law. But I might be wrong about how that applies to School Boards.



    Although Ortis mentions the promises made promoting passage of the bond referendum, he expects the money to come from the general budget.

  5. Broward Voter says:

    @1. Under Florida law school districts are responsible for securing their schools. Most create their own police departments for that purpose and some contract with local law enforcement agencies to patrol and secure their schools. Oddly, Broward schools does both.
    Regardless, school security is a district not a local law enforcement responsibility.

    911 calls are responded to by local law enforcement but emergency response is very different than securing a school through SRO’s. It is incorrect to say that the job of securing schools is a responsibility of local police or the sheriff. That is simply incorrect.

    @2. The Broward school district said they were sometimes forced to use classroom dollars fix buildings. With the newly approved bond money, the other dollars are now available to fully pay their SRO bills. As a Senator you taxed people but as a citizen I pay those taxes. Including city and school tax. You may disagree, but most taxpayers believe that each taxing district should carry out their own responsibilities with the taxes we pay to them. When one taxing district pays for the obligations of another, we end up paying that tax twice. This is inappropriate.

    School security is a school district responsibility so they should pay their own bills. I don’t want to be taxed twice.

  6. Truth Still Matters says:

    I am a mother of three public school children. One attends high school another is in middle school and my youngest is in third grade. I want an SRO in every school full time and am ashamed to hear that it took a city council get that done their city but the schools in my city don’t get the same benefit. Elementary schools have been a target of armed deranged people in other places. My youngest child’s school does not have the level of protection other elementary schools have. It worries me and I plan to speak to other parents about how they feel. I voted for the bond issue even though my family is on a fixed budget. Don’t make me feel sorry I voted that way.

  7. Sam Fields says:

    Would someone tell me why they are called “School Resource Officers”.

    When did a 9mil Smith & Wesson become a “school resource”?

  8. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    SROs aren’t the panacea.

    Remember the kid that got beat to a pulp in Deerfield?

    Turns out Deerfield has SROs at all elementary and middle school (paid for by the amazing Moran family).

    Well, the SRO was off campus — allegedly writing a ticket.

  9. Mike Ryan says:


    Not that one need have children in public schools to fully understand the importance of School Resource Officers well beyond your singular reference to an aspect of a School Resource Officer/School Resource Deputy, but it apparently helps. Defining the importance of SROs by the fact they carry a weapon is simply the product of not being exposed to the brilliance of the program as intended and implemented in Broward County and as part of an overall strategy for our children and community.

    For some background on the importance of SROs in our schools: SROs are meant to be a positive influence and resource for the school, students, families and community.

    But, funding has been a traditional challenge.

    By the way, one of our elementary school SROs has motivated the students, teachers, and families to participate in a 2 mile run or 1 mile run every year meant to bring the school and community together while focusing on health and the positive side of law enforcement. Another SRO is also a chess coach at an elementary school and helps with at risk youth. I could go on, but you get the idea. Ask parents and teachers whether or not a School Resource Officer is a “resource” to fully appreciate their importance in our schools.