DOE announces appointment of director of newly created Office of Safe Schools

Monday, the Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart announced long-time law enforcement officer Damien Kelly as director of the newly created Office of Safe Schools. Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Governor Rick Scott signed into law the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. One component of the comprehensive law is the creation of the Office of Safe Schools within the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) and the appointment of its director.

On March 23, Governor Rick Scott sent a letter to district superintendents and school board members that set deadlines FDOE and each school district must meet. Governor Scott directed FDOE to hire a director for the newly created Office of Safe Schools by May 1, 2018.

Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said, “We are thrilled for Special Agent Damien Kelly to join our team. With 25 years of experience as a law enforcement officer specializing in a variety of different areas, he will complement the wide-ranging expertise of our agency’s staff. All Florida students and educators deserve safe school environments, and I look forward to working with Agent Kelly as we collaborate with statewide law enforcement partners and school districts to enhance school safety.”

Damien Kelly has been employed by FDLE since 2005, most recently as a public corruption inspector. During his time at FDLE, Agent Kelly led protective operations, accepted domestic and international assignments and became an expert in firearms certification and proficiency; surveillance and protective operations; and gang investigation and interrogation. Also while at FDLE, Kelly served as a section team leader overseeing and providing training to fellow officers. Before joining FDLE, he spent 12 years as a police officer for City of Memphis Police Department.