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Deputies Prepare to Protect Schools Amid the Pandemic

When students return to schools across the country, many parents and guardians are concerned about the spread of COVID-19.

But it wasn’t that long ago school security was the biggest concern on campus.


What You Need To Know

  • School resource officers responsible for safety, not mask enforcement
  • Covered faces could make law enforcement more challenging
  • Deputies are trained for that.

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office says, while teachers and administrators will be responsible for enforcing mask mandates and social distancing policies, deputies remain focused on keeping everyone safe.

“Honestly, I wanted the added responsibility,” Deputy Nathan Brooks said. He’s been a school resource officer at Weeki Wachee High School for almost five years.

‘’You have to have each and every one of those kids as an invested interest in your heart, and you have to care for each and every one of them.

That means really getting to know them, but Deputy Brooks says the mask mandates could make that a bit more challenging.

“It makes it pretty difficult because a lot of the crimes that we see on campus, we’re able to identify the student from other students or staff members,” SRO Supervisor Sergeant Derik Deso explained.

He said, although they haven’t encountered it yet, it’s something deputies have some experience with.

 “I do know that there are some programs we do have at the sheriff’s office that do allow us to do photo line ups including masks to make identifications on a suspect, so that might be something we are going to have to look into,” Sergeant Deso said.

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