for immediate release
March 1, 2002

N E W S   R E L E A S E

Okaloosa County is now part of a statewide toll-free telephone hotline for students to anonymously report drugs, guns, knives, and other threats to school safety.

The Florida Sheriff's Task Force has adopted a single, statewide, toll-free telephone number that uses the acronym 1-877-7-BE-BRAVE, for "Better Education By Reporting All Violence Early." The program began almost three years ago when the number was activated in Duval and Pinellas Counties. It has since expanded to approximately half of Florida's 67 counties.

In Okaloosa County, Sheriff Charlie Morris has dedicated the full resources of the Sheriff's Office to promoting the safety of our schools and preventing on-campus violence. The "BE BRAVE" hotline is a co-operative effort involving the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, the School District, and the Florida Sheriff's Task Force.

Students and other citizens who call the 1-877-7-BE-BRAVE hotline will speak to a trained operator, 24 hours a day. All callers may remain totally anonymous, and will never be required to reveal their identify.

Prior to his election as Sheriff in 1996, Sheriff Morris had been the first School Resource Officer in the history of Okaloosa County. The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office now has full-time Resource Officers assigned to every High School and Middle School in the Okaloosa School District; Elementary Schools are assigned Resource Officers on a shared basis.

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for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420


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