Fla. Deputies Will Carry Rifles on School Grounds: Sheriff - NBC Connecticut
Parkland School Tragedy

Parkland School Tragedy

Continuing coverage of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting

Fla. Deputies Will Carry Rifles on School Grounds: Sheriff

"Schools as soft targets need to be fortified," Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said



    Broward Deputies to Carry Rifles on School Grounds

    NBC 6's Jamie Guirola reports on the decision by Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to arm deputies in schools with rifles.

    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018)

    Deputies will carry rifles on the grounds of local schools in Broward County in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel announced Wednesday.

    Israel said that only deputies who are "qualified and trained" will carry the rifles on school grounds.

    "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," said Israel.

    The practice was implemented Wednesday morning, Israel said at a news conference.

    "Schools as soft targets need to be fortified," Israel said.

    Israel said he spoke with Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, who supported the idea.

    One of the shooting survivors, Chris Grady, spoke with Runcie Tuesday on local radio station WLRN and said he was against the idea. "I do not feel safe when I see armed officials. Why would you want the student body to have to walk around that," Grady said.

    A reporter asked if deputies will carry AR-15’s, and Israel said some would.

    The AR-15 is the weapon used in the tragic shooting that left 17 dead at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

    "It will be done safely," said Israel, "We need to be able to defeat any threat that comes onto campus."

    Israel's announcement comes after President Donald Trump suggested arming 20 percent of teachers and coaches with firearms to overpower potential shooters.

    A 2013 Cleveland State University College of Urban Affairs review showed that, at the time, putting one armed guard at every school building in the nation would cost about $13 billion a year.

    The review was conducted after the NRA proposed the idea following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in which dozens died.

    When scaled up to better reflect student populations per school buildings, the cost would increase to about $23 billion a year – some $500 per student for armed security.

    In the Broward County School District, where the Parkland tragedy occurred, there are about 15,000 teachers. The proposal to arm about 20 percent – about 3,000 – of those teachers with a Glock 17, a popular weapon, would cost more than $1.4 million, not taking into account the cost of ammunition.

    Teachers would also have to be educated on gun safety, the cost of which can be about $200 per training day.

    Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho rejected the idea of teachers with weapons.

    "I respect teachers too much, and I respect their voice too much and I respect the voice of students who, unequivocally, who yesterday in Tallahassee and over the past week have told me they want to feel safe but they want teachers to teach," Carvalho said.

    Runcie said that "we don't need to put guns in the hands of teachers."

    "You know what we need. We need to arm our teachers with more money in their pockets," Runcie said.

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said he does not support arming teachers and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., agreed saying Trump’s suggestion on arming them was "a terrible idea."