Chief, Campus Police
24 hours daily/seven days a week
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) Police Department provides 24/7 security and access control for the campus. The sworn law enforcement officers are also all trained and certified as School Resource Officers. The Department’s mission is to provide a safe, crime free and drug free environment for the education of sensory impaired students and to help equip students with the tools and responsibilities needed to live productive, law abiding, and rewarding lives.
The Department was created by the Florida state legislature, and established operations in 1994 with three officers. Today, the campus police department has 20 employees; 12 are sworn police officers and eight are non-sworn support staff members. The officers are each officers of the state, meeting all of the requirements for certification by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Criminal Justice & Standards Training Commission, and have the full authority of police officers.
Among the services provided by the Department are: law enforcement; security; access control procedures; visitor ID management; security video surveillance monitoring; fire alarm monitoring; severe weather monitoring; emergency alert notifications on campus; emergency preparedness response and management; fingerprinting and level 2 background screening for employment; School Resource Officer program, bicycle safety programs; bullying prevention efforts; DARE (drug abuse prevention education); crime prevention programs; conducting security assessments; parking and traffic enforcement; special event and crowd control management; and public relations.
During July 2013, FSDB received school safety awards of significance at two separate events. The School Safety Advocacy Council presented FSDB with the 2013 National Exemplary School Safety Award. Florida State Attorney General Bondi and the Florida Association of School Resource Officers gave recognition to FSDB Police Officer Kelly Thomas as 2013 School Resource Officer of the Year. See links below for more specifics.
All parents, visitors, contractors and delivery drivers are required to display valid photo identification (preferably a state issued ID card or driver license) when requesting access into the campus so that searches can be conducted on the national and state sexual offender/predator registries. Visitors should enter the campus through the Genoply Street entrance that intersects with San Marco Avenue, and then proceed to the guardhouse to check in with Campus Police.
Visitors, contractors and delivery drivers should be prepared to inform Campus Police with the name of the school staff they are on campus to meet with, the purpose of their visit, and the location on campus they are requesting to access. Visitors should also have their visits and appointments with school staff prescheduled before arriving to campus to prevent unnecessary delays.
The Campus Police Department offers the Call First-Text Next program which allows wireless mobile users the option to text any requests for police, fire or medical services assistance to Campus Police while on the FSDB campus in the event of an emergency or for routine assistance when a phone call is not an option.
The Campus Police Department’s phone line for reporting emergencies on campus is answered by Campus Police personnel only and does not serve as the local 911 service for St. Johns County.
St. Johns County 911 can be called for any emergency—text-to-911 became effective in December 2016.
FSDB Call First-Text Next Program
- Emergency—Call/Text 904-827-2911 on campus or call/text 911 for St. Johns County Emergency Services
- Non-Emergency—Call/Text 904-827-2315 on campus
- View or print Call First-Text Next flyer
FSDB Emergency Text Guidelines
- Provide the location and the nature of the emergency in the first text message (e.g., Send Help…Fire…Pope High Room 100)
- Text message abbreviations and slang are discouraged and should not be used.
- If a text message was sent accidentally, follow up with another text message to notify the Campus Police Dispatcher there is not an emergency.
- Do NOT text message while driving.
- Only text message appropriate photos for communicating the situation or location.