Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey released a video stating that some school police officers now will carry rifles on campuses.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Parents have expressed concerns over school security after the May mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 students and two teachers.
In Brevard County, Florida, Sheriff Wayne Ivey announced in a video that some school police officers will now carry long guns on school campuses throughout the county.
“You are not coming into my schools and killing our children,” Ivey said in the video. “I firmly believe that if you do not meet violence with violence, you will be violently killed,” he added.
Ivey did not specify the types of guns the officers would carry in schools, but in the video, he shows an image of a rifle. Previously, long guns were kept in law enforcement vehicles in the parking lots of the school campuses.
The plans also include new uniforms for officers with a “tactical appearance that clearly signifies that we mean business,” Ivey remarked. The Brevard Sheriff’s Office has been working closely with partner agencies along the Space Coast to implement a new security protocol for public schools. Students returned to campuses on Wednesday.
School police, called Resource Officers, have always carried handguns. But parents concerned with recent school shootings have asked for increased security, according to the statement released by the Sheriff's Office.
CONCERNS AT SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
At Tuesday’s school board meeting, several people spoke out against using any larger guns on campus, concerned about “assault rifles” on campuses. Russell Bruhn, a spokesperson for the Brevard County Public Schools, said that the district sets policy to keep the schools safe, but when it comes to law enforcement, they leave that to the experts. “The sheriff is kind of our go-to when it comes to school security,” Bruhn said.
In his video, Ivey said his goal was to make the schools a “hard target” for those with “evil in their heart.”
“I want to reassure our parents, our teachers, and our students that our schools are among the safest in the country and are protected by who I believe are the most courageous deputies and officers in America,” he said.
Brevard County also employs 27 armed security specialists assigned to Space Coast school campuses with a mission to confront school shooters with lethal force, if necessary. Officers patrol elementary schools and campuses that do not have full-time school resource officers assigned by a local police department or the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
Watch the full video below: