Lake County schools to launch 'Volunteers on Patrol' program

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - The Lake County school district is looking for residents to join a new program called 'Volunteers on Patrol,' which officials said will launch this upcoming school year.

Officials said the new program will consist of volunteers who will be the "eyes and ears" of the community. School district officials hope that through volunteer patrol shifts, the program will deter, detect and delay any threat to campus security.

"Basically have an individual at a school that walks the parking lot, checks the perimeter gates and fences and things of that nature," Chris Patton with Lake County schools said.

Anyone over 21-years-old who qualifies and can dedicate 8 hours per month is eligible to participate in the program.

"It could be a parent, it could be anybody," Patton said.

Officials said applicants will have to pass an interview, a background check and attend a one-day training course.

"All we want these volunteers to do is if they see suspicious activity to just immediately report it, just observe and report," Patton said.

The plan is to implement the program at the county's elementary schools, which don't currently have school resource officers. Eventually, officials hope to expand the program to include all public schools in the county.

WFTV talked to several parents who were pleased to hear about the new program.

"I think that's a good idea. At least it's somebody watching the kids, that's the most important thing," parent Desiree Rodriguez said.

Anyone who is interested in participating in the 'Volunteers on Patrol' program can click  here for an application.