Broward County Deputies will begin carrying rifles on school grounds in the wake of last week's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, according to Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.
“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,” Israel said in a Wednesday press conference.
"Schools as soft targets need to be fortified," said the Sheriff, who said that officers would safely secure weapons when not in use. "When they are not carrying the rifle, until we look for gun locks and gun lockers, the only place when they're not slinging the rifle, that will be allowed to be stored, will be in their locked police vehicle," Israel said.
The sheriff of the Florida county where a shooter killed 17 people at a high school last week has ordered all deputies who qualify to begin carrying rifles on school grounds. https://t.co/M0gteqMa6Z
— KION News 5 46 (@KION546) February 21, 2018
When asked by a reporter if AR-15s will be carried, Israel said that some would. "It will be done safely," replied Israel, "We need to be able to defeat any threat that comes onto campus."
Israel also discussed the fact that Marjory Stoneman Douglas' School Resource Deputy was on campus 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.”
The Sheriff's full press conference can be viewed here.
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