School Board and commissioners butt heads over cost of SRO’s


MANATEE COUNTY – The Manatee County School Board and commissioners are butting heads on how to share the cost of staffing 48 sheriff’s deputies at schools.

In the past, only high schools and middle schools in the county had an officer, and the cost was split between the county and board.

With the increased requirement, commissioners were hesitant to continue that level of funding.

The Herald-Tribune says commissioners are anticipating a $9 million reduction in revenue in 2020, assuming a $25,000 homestead exemption amendment passes in November.

The anticipated total cost for 2019 in Manatee County will be $5.6 million for staff and $1.8 million for equipment.

The equipment is paid for through public safety impact fees.

If the district and board continued to split the operational cost, each entity would need to pitch in roughly $2.8 million.

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Ben Bobick
Ben Bobick is a multimedia journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a May 2016 graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism and a Sports Journalism Certificate from the John C. Curley Center for Sports Journalism. At Penn State, Ben hosted a radio show four days a week and was a member of the Emmy Award winning student-run newscast, the Centre County Report where he was a sports anchor and reporter. Ben was also part of the inaugural class of the Penn State Hollywood Program. He interned for KABC-TV in Los Angeles as an entertainment intern. He had the opportunity to interview Grammy award winning artist Kendrick Lamar, Fifth Harmony, Jennifer Garner and the season 22 cast of Dancing with the Stars among others. In his spare time, Ben loves to watch and play sports. Being from Pittsburgh, he’s a big Steelers, Pirates and Penguins fan. Ben is an avid golfer and loves to hit the course any time he can. For story ideas or a news tip you can get in touch by e-mailing him at