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FDLE Approves Police Department For Clay Schools; Community Meetings Scheduled

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The Clay County School district has been given approval from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI to start forming its own police department.

Getting the OK, means the district is now able to start hiring officers to fill slots at all 42 Clay County schools and additional leadership positions.

Superintendent Addison Davis will be hosting meetings along with Kenneth Wagner. Our Florida Times-Union news partner reports Wagner will become the new department’s police chief. Wagner - until now - has been a lieutenant with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in charge of school resource officers.

The two of them will be hosting a series of community meetings in March and April about the police department’s forming.

Related: Clay County Schools Police Department Application

Anyone interested in learning about the timeline and expectations of the new police department can attend the meetings which are taking place at Clay County high schools.

The district has been issued an originating agency identification number, which allows for the development of the Clay County School Board Police Department and grants full access to Florida Crime Information Center and the National Crime Information Center for criminal justice purposes.

The district’s decision to start its own police department is rooted in a state mandate to improve school safety and security following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas deadly mass shooting, the Times-Union reported.

Over the summer, Clay voters approved a $1 property tax increase to fund school safety measures required by law.

Community meeting schedule

March 28, Fleming Island High School, 6 p.m.

  • April 1, Oakleaf HIgh School, 6 p.m.
  • April 8, Keystone Junior/ Senior High School 6 p.m.
  • April 9, Orange Park High School, 6 p.m.
  • April 15, Clay High School, 6 p.m.
  • April 16, Middleburg High School (includes Ridgeview High School community), 6 p.m.

Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.