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Only Cops Can Carry At Schools, So Sheriff Starts Deputizing Teachers

Program makes staffers 'special deputies' so they can be armed while on school grounds

Babson Park, FL – A Florida school is joining a program put on by the county sheriff’s office that allows staff to bring guns to work.

Webber International University announced a partnership with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department to expand the program that makes school staffers “special deputies” and allows them to carry guns, according to WTVT-TV.

Florida’s laws don’t allow someone to carry a gun onto school property unless they are a member of law enforcement. The Sentinel Program gets around that by having staffers made special deputies.

“We’re gonna send the message to those people that you’re not coming onto a campus being the only person on the campus with a firearm,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Feb. 21. “Gun control is clearly in place on school campuses in the state of Florida. How did that work last week in Broward County?”

NBC News reported that an anonymous Coral Springs officer said that three Broward County Sheriff Deputies remained outside the school building while Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people. NBC News also reported that a school resource deputy also stayed outside the school while the shooting was taking place. The school resource deputy has since resigned.

Teacher volunteers go through training that is more intense than what deputies face, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, WTVT reported.

“Everyone just has to ask themselves that question: My babies, your babies, are in that classroom and that active shooter is coming down the hallway with that thousand-yard stare and that gun in their hand. Do you want somebody to step out and stop him? Or do you want him to go into that classroom and slaughter your babies?” Sheriff Judd said. “That’s where we are with that issue today.”

The first university to join the Sentinel Program was Southeastern University which started it in December 2016.

Correction: Shooter’s middle name was initially used without first name.

AndrewBlake - February Sun, 2018


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