MIAMI-DADE, Fla. - The school year may be over Thursday in Miami-Dade County, but when the bell rings in another year in a few months, there will be a new chief in charge who wants to put more officers in the schools.
Ian Moffett is Miami-Dade school's new police chief. He's in charge of policing the fourth-largest school district in the country with nearly 400 schools and 350,000 students.
"The first interaction with law enforcement the vast majority of these students are going to have with law enforcement are going to be the men and women in blue that service our schools," said Moffett. "I want that to be a positive interaction."
Since getting the nod to lead the district's police department a couple of weeks ago, Moffett has focused his attention on providing a safer, more secure atmosphere for students, staff and faculty.
"Crime knows no boundaries," said Moffett. "We've got to be able to prevent and intervene rather than just respond to it."
Moffett believes training is a priority to offset the guns, gangs and ripoffs, insisting it's imperative to place a police officer on every campus.
"If an officer is on campus and they're building a rapport and building a relationship with those students, interacting with them, interacting with the parents when they come, okay, they're going to be more likely to tell you about issues going on," Moffett said.
As it stands now, school resource officers are stationed at high schools, some middle schools but no public elementary school has a dedicated student resource officer (SRO).
"It's not about snitching," said Moffett. "It's about having the trust to talk to that officer and tell them what's going on."
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has prioritized school safety, giving Moffett immediate support by recently committing 25 additional full-time officers.
"At the end of the day, you want to make sure you don't lose one of your kids," Moffett said.
Local 10's John Turchin reports it costs about $100,000 for one SRO, which includes training, salary, benefits, pension, uniforms, insurance, weapons and a police car.
Copyright 2013 by Local10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.