Message from Police Chief Dave Vincent

CCSB Police Chief

Hello families!
I have the pleasure of serving as the Police Chief for the Citrus County School Board. Established in 2018, the Citrus County School Board Police Department is dedicated to student and staff safety and serves as a liaison to our first responder community here in Citrus County. The past 18 months has posed many challenges for our staff and students, but safety and security remained a top priority for Superintendent Himmel. We were able to adapt our emergency drills to an ever-changing landscape at our schools. Students and staff were able to practice drills using tabletop exercises and discussions on potential critical incident scenarios. Initially, we were not sure how these changes would affect the effectiveness of our drills, but the classroom discussions that replaced actual lockdowns proved to be beneficial. As the end of the 20-21 was upon us, we were able to get back to traditional lockdown drills and our staff and students did not miss a beat. As we enter our fourth year of being an ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) certified organization our students and staff are more prepared to handle critical incidents.

In response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy, the Florida Legislature passed Alyssa’s Law in the 2020 legislative session. This law mandated that every public and charter school in the State of Florida have a mobile panic alert system installed by the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. This legislation was followed by months of evaluations by the State of Florida with vendors providing potential solutions. As a result, I am pleased to let you know that the Citrus County School District chose Crisis Alert as our state approved solution for Alyssa’s Law compliance. When evaluating the potential solutions, I wanted a system that was 1. easy to use, 2. provided immediate notification to school-based response teams and the 9-1-1 center, 3. had audible and visual notification in every classroom, 4. Made sure everyone on a campus knew that something was happening. This system is a game changer for notifying students, staff and first responders of an emergency in our schools. Every staff member in the district will be issued an emergency activation card that puts the power of locking down any campus in the hands of every employee. With the leadership of Superintendent Himmel and our School Board we are not only compliant with Alyssa’s Law, but we have what I feel is truly one of the best security solutions for schools on the market. One thing we must all not forget, is that technology will never replace the human factor of prevention that which is everyone’s responsibility. If anyone has information related to potential threats to school safety, there are many ways to report that information through local and state programs like Campus Crime Stoppers and Fortify Florida. Both programs are promoted in our schools and installed on all computer and mobile devices for student access. With everyone working together we can prevent school violence by simply saying something when we hear or see something!

Our School Guardian program is entering it third full year and is currently staffed with nine professionals serving our students and staff. The positive feedback from our parents, students, and district personnel help reinforce the value of this program. Our guardians interact with students and staff daily and are assigned to all middle and high schools and the Academy of Environmental Science. The school guardian program provides an additional armed person at each middle and high school and serves as a force multiplier for our sworn law enforcement officers. As we return to some sense of normalcy this school year, I want you to know that safety and security is always on the mind of our school district and the Police Department, and we work diligently every day to protect our most important community asset, our children.

I look forward to serving our students and staff - 

Dave Vincent
Police Chief, Citrus Schools