News Update for 7/12/23

There was some discussion at the Highlands County School board meeting last night about school resource officers and how much the board pays for them. Resident Jesse Sapp said his reading of the contract shows that there are 17 Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies filling those slots at $60,000 apiece. However, there are three officers from the Sebring Police Department that cost the schools some $93,000 each.
Sapp suggested that simply going with deputies could save the system around $100,000 a year.
School staff said in actuality the difference is only about $7,000 per officer. Board members approved the contract without further discussion.

Avon Park’s mayor has a bit more ceremonial power. The council approved the second reading of a measure that gives the mayor the authority to issue or reject proclamations or one-time recognition periods.
City attorney Gerald Buhr noted that council members still could bring such matters before the board if they were so inclined. Nevertheless, the vote was not unanimous. Councilwoman Bernice Taylor cast a no vote on the ordinance.

Lakeland Police officers who punched a man during an arrest won’t face charges. Tenth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Brian Haas recently informed Lakeland Police he won’t pursue charges against the four officers.
Video from December shows the officers punching Antwan Glover. Haas says Glover put one officer in a headlock and presented an ongoing and escalating threat. Haas adds officers had good reason to suspect Glover was armed.

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