PRESS RELEASE: FOP, Lodge #133 Responds To Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent’s Task Force On Violence Meeting

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January 19, 2013

By: Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #133

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, call Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 133 President Howard Giraldo at 305-219-1282.

Media availability with Giraldo and other officers at Vizcaya during today’s task force.

FOP, Lodge #133 – Invest in Your School Police

Miami/January 17, 2013 – As law enforcement leaders across Miami-Dade County meet to discuss how to address violence, the Miami-Dade Schools Police members and members of the Fraternal order of Police Lodge 133  hope that student safety at our public schools are addressed in a comprehensive manner that best utilizes the resources we already have.

We are glad that the leaders of this community, including Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, want to prioritize this critical issue and are willing to work together to reduce, if not end, violence in our community.

But school safety has always been a vital concern for us – even though it may be spotlighted by a tragedy worthy of media attention now and then. But we live with it day in, day out.

We are qualified members of the team that would like to help formulate a plan to better guard our school facilities and protect our students and teachers. We don’t know what plans Carvalho has for improved security, but now that he is looking at it, we would like to come to the table with him to see what we can come up with together.

One thing we don’t want to see is someone pushing off of our responsibility to other jurisdictions — cities and municipalities whose resources are already stretched and whose officers may or may not have the particular skill set to deal with children.

We know that there can be more done to protect our students from violence that comes from within and from outside our schools. In fact, nobody knows this better than us.

But nobody knows better than us how to improve our current law enforcement department – starting with expanding and retaining our officer base.

It is time to stop meeting and talking all the buzz words in front of TV cameras for political gain and image enhancement. We want leaders to put their resources to work in the right places, work with those of us who have been working in school safety already.

Members of our department and our union believe that the Miami-Dade School Superintendent and the community should invest in the school police department – its best defense against violence of all kind.

For more information, contact Howard Giraldo, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 133, at 305-219-1282.

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