CAPE CORAL, Fla. — If Lee County Schools re-open in the fall, students might see more police officers walking in their halls. The Department of Justice awarded the cape Coral Police a $500,000 grant.
Master Corporal Phil Mullen with CCPD said they’ll use it to hire more officers and move some veteran officers into schools.
“This is meant for us to be able to hire four new police officers for patrol. Brand new officers. And then in turn we’re going to wind up taking four more seasoned officers that have been around for a while, and they’re going to be school resource officers,” he said.
Mullen said instead of just one, now they’ll have two SROs at each high school, a job that requires veteran officers.
“The School Resource Officer, that’s a special position. You need a lot of training to become a school resource officer,” he said. “It’s not something that you go to the basic law enforcement academy, and then go do.”
Fox 4 asked if the grant will be used to change any policies after an officer killed George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day. Mullen said they’ve banned tactics like chokeholds and strangleholds before Floyd’s death.
“We’ve received just like all police departments a lot of inquiries just about - hey, this should be banned or this should be done. We already do those things. We already ban those things,” he said.
In a statement last week Police Chief David Newlan said he’s never seen a tactic that permits an officer to kneel on anyone’s neck, referring to the method former officer Derek Chauvin used to kill Floyd.
Mullen added although the grant is specifically to train new SRO’s and hire new officers to patrol, they will continue to enforce their policies, so hopefully what happened to Floyd doesn’t happen in Cape Coral.