Samuel Case, FISM News
Coming off a spate of mass shootings, the sheriff’s department in Brevard County, Florida is ramping up security ahead of the new school year by equipping on-campus police officers with rifles.
“Over the course of the past several months, parents, teachers, students, and communities across our country have all grown deeply concerned over school shootings, like the one in Uvalde, Texas,” Sheriff Wayne Ivey said in a back-to-school video.
Sheriff Wayne said he intends to make Brevard County schools “hard targets” so that “anyone with evil in their heart will think twice about coming onto one of our campuses and trying to harm a child or one of our teachers.”
He continued, “Let me be very clear: you are not coming into my schools and killing our children. I firmly believe that if you do not meet violence with violence, you will be violently killed.”
With this in mind, Sheriff Wayne announced that school resource deputies will be outfitted with new tactical uniforms that allow officers to carry long guns, providing deputies the ability to “instantly address an active shooter.”
“In previous years, if we had an active shooter on one of our campuses with a rifle, our school resource deputies would have to go to their vehicle parked outside in the parking lot, retrieve their long gun from the gun safe in their vehicle, and then return to the school to try and address that threat,” he explained.
Sheriff Wayne went on to address some of the concerns over the appearance of the uniforms and equipment, sharing an interaction with one individual who told the sheriff the new uniforms reminded them “of walking through the Israeli airport.”
“My response to them was simple,” the Sheriff said. “When’s the last time you read about someone shooting up an Israeli airport? You haven’t.”
Brevard County isn’t the only school district upping security measures. This month Madison County, North Carolina announced that its schools will be equipped with an AR-15 secured in a safe along with other items, including ammo and a breaching tool that would help break through barricaded doors.
Likewise, in June, Ohio Governor Mike Dewine (R) signed a bill allowing teachers to carry guns in school after they complete 24 hours of training, dramatically reducing the 700 hours of training previously required.
A May Politico/Morning Consult poll shows that 54% of Americans either “strongly support” or “somewhat support” arming school personnel in order to prevent future school shootings.