Students at some elementary schools in Orange County will notice new workers on campus as they return from winter break: armed deputies.
It's all in response to the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut, and local lawmakers expect it to be a smooth transition. Full-time resource officers have been in place in middle and high schools in Orange County for years now, but the elementary schools only have had part-time security.
However, since the news of the deadly shooting in Connecticut, a tearful Mayor Jacobs vowed to make a change to Orange County schools to prevent the same thing from happening here.
"I will tell you today that my decision today to try and get deputies in our elementary schools is beyond an emotional response," Jacobs said.
She and county commissioners approved a $2-to-$3 million plan to add full-time deputies to 78 elementary schools in unincorporated Orange County. The cost is being paid by taxpayers in unincorporated areas of the county.
"There are 60 officers that are being hired by Sheriff Jerry Demings and the Sheriff's department. Mayor Jacobs stepped up and put a couple million dollars into it, so we're looking really good as to the unincorporated elementary schools in Orlando. We're really happy about that," said Rick Roach of the Orange County School board.
Parents we talked to say it gives them a peace of mind.
"I think it's comforting to know that steps are being taken to ensure the safety of our kids at schools, Zahira Vinolo said."
Under this proposal, deputies would be put in place until the end of the school year, giving administrators time to figure out what they need to do next.
"I think the message it sends is when something like this happens in Connecticut, we are sensitive to parents and we want to make sure they are comfortable with their kids going to school," Roach said.