© 2024 Central Florida Public Media. All Rights Reserved.
90.7 FM Orlando • 89.5 FM Ocala
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Orange & Osceola Counties Lead Florida In Arrests Of Young Kids


The Orange and Osceola County public defender is urging residents to ask why more of their kids between five and ten years old are being arrested than in any other part of the state. Many of the arrests are happening in school.

Public Defender Robert Wesley said troubled kids are being handed over to resource officers rather than to school counselors or psychologists. Miami has double the population, yet data show it arrested thousands of fewer kids, and Wesley wants to know why.

“We don’t think our kids are any worse than kids in Jacksonville, or Palm Beach or Ft Lauderdale or Miami,” he said. “Why are we the ones with the most arrests, what the heck is going on here?”

A state law kicking in October 1st allows police to issue warnings or civil citations for certain misdemeanors. Wesley hopes it will stem the arrest rate of young school kids.