A Florida school district is taking steps to avoid a situation like the severe police failings during the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has announced that some school resource officers will be carrying long guns on campuses in the district.
The sheriff posted a video announcing the measure and explaining the motivation for it.
“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.”
Sheriff Ivey wrote in the post, “While I pray it never happens, I can assure you that our Brevard County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputies are prepared to win the battle to protect our children and teachers!!”
He also quoted Sun Tzu, writing “every battle is won or lost before it’s ever fought.”
Sheriff’s school resource officers will also have new uniforms that have a “tactical appearance that clearly signifies that we mean business.”
Russell Bruhn, a spokesperson for Brevard Public Schools, told Florida Today that when it comes to decisions about law enforcement, they “leave that to the experts.”
“The sheriff is kind of our go-to when it comes to school security,” Bruhn said. “He’s our expert, he’s the one that we trust and the one we work with to kind of set the tone for what is needed on our campuses to make sure that our staff and our students are safe and to make sure that all of our SROs can respond to whatever they face each day.”
A few people protested the decision during Tuesday’s school board meeting, but failed to change the decision.
Criminal justice consultant and law enforcement training expert Roy Bedard told FT that there are both pros and cons to having the resource officers be so visibly armed.
“People don’t like to walk around in what they feel like is a heavily armed campus, especially when you’re a kid, and everyone understands that,” Bedard said. “The other side of that coin is that, because we do know that these things have happened and likely will happen again, we want to be ahead of the power curve by having those weapons immediately accessible and not have to take the time to cart them in.”
However, Bedard added that a long gun would be more effective than a handgun in an active shooter situation.`