Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has decided he will place rifle-carrying deputies in every Broward county school beginning Thursday. Some officers will be carrying AR-15’s, the same type of weapon used in the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida just one week ago.
Israel says the weapon-packing deputies will not be carrying fully automatic-style rifles, but rather single-shot guns which he claims are intended to “fortify” the schools now viewed as soft targets.
Sheriff Israel announced at a late Wednesday afternoon news conference, “This morning, I implemented a practice within the Broward Sheriff’s Office and spoke to Mr. Runcie and he’s fully cooperative of my decision, that our deputies who are qualified and trained will be carrying rifles on school grounds from this point forward,”
When asked about the safety of the guns on campus and where they would be stored when necessary, the sheriff responded, “The only place, people are asking me, where they will not carry their rifle, until we look for gun locks and gun lockers, they only place where they’re not slinging their rifles, they will be allowed to be stored is locked in their police vehicle. So it will be done safely. Only deputies who are trained and qualified will carry those rifles. But we need to defeat any threat that comes onto campus.”
Israel addressed the question about Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ School Resource Deputy on the day of the shooting. “Deputy Peterson was on campus. As you all know, he’s the School Resource Deputy. He was armed. As our command staff moves forward in this investigation the response and actions of Deputy Peterson will be looked at and scrutinized as will everyone.”
During the news conference, the Broward County Sheriff spoke of armed deputies giving the schools a chance to “fight back” against attackers.
He later added, “We also need to talk about sensible gun control.”