WINK News Exclusive: Collier County Sheriff’s Office to receive award for handling of school threats

Reporter: Lauren Leslie Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

This summer, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office will receive an award of excellence for its threat management program. Now, they’re serving as a model for law enforcement agencies across our state and the country in terms of keeping your children safe at school.

The tragic school shooting in Parkland, FL, provoked a question in Collier County. Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk wondered, “what if we could do something to stop it before it occurred.”

The answer to his question has now become a model for law enforcement agencies working in schools and with students to stop threats from being carried out.

Kamela Patton is the Superintendent of Collier County Public Schools. “We say, ‘See something, say something’ and tell someone,” said Patton.

The threat management program is a partnership between the sheriff’s office and Collier County Public Schools. “Potential or a real threat our sheriff’s office are banging at those people’s homes at one in the morning, three in the morning,” Patton said.

The goal is to stop the violence before it gets through school doors. And while the number of incidents is going up, most of those are not credible. “Today, we’re pushing more than 500 incidents. Now, that’s comments or behavior issues. Some are threats,” Sheriff Rambosk said.

And more importantly, the number of arrests is going down. “The original goal of this is to stop it from occurring in the first place and not let somebody go down that road,” said Sheriff Rambosk.

Youth relations deputies carry a large heap of that responsibility by working with the students every single day. “Just the term ‘youth relation deputy’ tells you about the relationships they are trying to build with our students and the mentoring processes that goes on,” said Patton.

Sherrif Rambosk said, “We have a lot of great kids, and they’re all trying to do the right thing. Some go off track, and we try and help get them back on track.”

The threat management program in Collier County has cut the number of student arrests nearly in half. Sheriff Rambosk and his team will accept the award of excellence from the School Safety Advocacy Council on Jul. 26 in Orlando.

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