Sarasota County School District hires veteran law enforcement officer as its chief of police

Paul Grohowski served with agencies in Florida, California and Colorado

Paul Grohowski. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Schools

Paul Grohowski, a law enforcement veteran with 22 years of experience, has been named chief of police for the Sarasota County School District, effective immediately pending employment screenings and School Board approval, the district has announced.

Grohowski will report to Michael Andreas, the district’s executive director of public safety, as Grohowski oversees the school-based police force, a news release explains. That force is expected to include the chief, three sergeants and 21 to 24 School Resource Officers (SRO) for the 2018-19 school year, the release adds. “[Grohowski] will also work closely with local law enforcement partners to fulfill existing SRO programs throughout the school district this coming school year,” the release says.

Grohowski recently served as director of public safety and chief of police for the Allan Hancock Joint Community College District Police Department in Santa Maria, Calif., where he was responsible for four college campuses throughout Santa Barbara County, the release adds. The department served more than 22,000 students and staff members, the release notes.

Grohowski’s “skills and tenure in the law enforcement profession are a perfect match for someone to lead the police department,” Superintendent Todd Bowden, said in the release.

Throughout his tenure in the law enforcement profession, “Grohowski has developed department policy, oversight and accountability processes and managed teams of men and women dedicated to public service,” the release continues.

Prior to his tenure at Allan Hancock College, Grohowski held the position of chief of police of the Adams State University Police Department and served as an adjunct professor at Trinidad State Junior College, both in Colorado, from 2015 to 2016, the release notes. Before his tenure in Colorado, Grohowski worked for the Port St. Lucie Police Department in Florida from 2002 to 2015, where he held numerous positions, including serving as a SWAT team member/sniper/leader for 11 years. He also worked for the Danbury Police Department in Connecticut from 1996 to 2002.

Grohowski earned his master’s degree in public administration and bachelor’s degree in professional administration from Barry University in Miami, the release says.

He is an avid supporter of the Special Olympics and has been an active volunteer with that organization throughout his career, the release adds. He served on the board of directors for the Special Olympics in Colorado from 2015-16.

“Over the course of two years, he will be responsible for establishing a full safety and security police force” for the Sarasota County School District, the release notes.

“I am incredibly humbled by this opportunity and the trust bestowed upon me by Dr. Bowden and Executive Director Andreas,” Grohowski said in the release. “My wife, Marissa, and I are the proud parents of four children, all of whom were educated in Florida public schools,” he added. “As a father, I am keenly aware of the fear children face going to school every day in these unprecedented times and share the concerns of every loving parent who places their trust in us.”