Churches, businesses raise money to enhance Oviedo schools' security

'Secure Oveido Schools' movement sweeping Seminole County

OVIEDO, Fla. – Dozens of golfers teed off at Twin Rivers Golf Club Friday for a tournament to raise money for school safety at several Oviedo schools.

The idea came about after Dwayne Mercer, pastor of the CrossLife Church in Oviedo, committed to helping out.

"I really wanted to do something since we are a larger church, do something large for the community," Mercer said.

He met with Dr. Walt Griffin, the Seminole County Schools superintendent, to see what the need was. Griffin said improving security cameras on campuses was a priority.

"There are a lot of cameras in a lot of blind spots and a lot of outdoor cameras," Mercer said. "They are deficient in cameras where they want to be and this will shore up all that and bring the cameras up to date."

The goal was to get new cameras up at Oviedo High School; however, the movement quickly spread across Seminole County with other churches and businesses also getting involved. 

"It's been pretty impressive the way the community has come together and the churches as well," Mercer said. 

Already, the movement called "Secure Oviedo Schools" has raised $75,000. Mercer said that should be enough to install cameras at Oviedo High School, Haggerty High School and even some of the middle schools in town, including Jackson Heights and Lawton Chiles middle schools. Mercer said it costs about $25,000 for each high school and $42,000 for both middle schools to upgrade and install the cameras.

Along with the golf tournament Friday, CrossLife Church hosted a dinner and silent auction to expand the cameras to elementary schools within the next few years. 

Griffin said the Secure Oviedo Schools campaign has helped speed up the district's five-year plan and save money in the budget to better enhance school safety. 

"I am overwhelmed and so appreciative. Look at all the people behind just to support our schools," Griffin said.

For more information or to support Secure Oviedo Schools, click here.

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