BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Ahead of the school year, the Brevard County sheriff announced Monday in a Facebook video that school resource deputies will carry rifles in an effort to increase safety on campuses.
In the video, Sheriff Wayne Ivey said his office has worked with partnering agencies, including police departments, to “develop and implement specific security plans and strategies that ensure the safety of those on our campuses.”
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“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!!” the sheriff wrote on Facebook.
“I firmly believe that if you do not meet violence with violence, you will be violently killed,” Ivey said in the video.
School resource deputies will receive a new uniform equipped with a rifle that “clearly signifies we mean business.” Ivey said if there was ever a threat previously, school resource deputies would have to run to their vehicle to retrieve a long gun.
“This new style uniform and tactical preparedness gives our team members the advantage and ability to instantly address the threat with the level of force necessary to eliminate the shooter and save the lives of innocent children and teachers,” he said.
The sheriff said school resource deputies will receive the new uniforms over the coming weeks.
News 6 interviewed Sheriff Ivey about school security after the shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
The sheriff’s office did not respond to a request Tuesday for a new interview about the uniform changes.
“I’m always doing new things; things that will throw something different at the criminal element,” Sheriff Ivey said on June 25.
As president of Families for Safe Schools and a parent of three in Brevard Public Schools, Jabari Hosey argued gun laws, not guns themselves, could make schools safer.
“I hope we don’t get to the point where we need to militarize our schools where they’re like military bases,” Hosey said. “I get that we don’t want to be outgunned because AR-15s are just as accessible to a regular person as the sheriff’s office, but to me, you’re just creating more of a problem than a solution.”
The sheriff said he’s confident in his deputies and their training.
“Even to the point, I’m confident in our vetting of the men and women that wear this uniform on how committed they are to protecting kids,” Ivey said.
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