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Florida sheriff doubles down on calling out schools without armed guards

'There’s no excuse for it'
Posted at 8:24 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 20:24:51-04

HAVANA, Fla. — "They’re not happy with me and I don’t care," the head of the state’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission said that about some of Florida’s school districts, while speaking at a law enforcement conference, Wednesday.

Pinellas County Sheriff, and commission chair, Bob Gualtieri has been taking jabs at schools for not complying with state rules requiring armed security following the Parkland mass shooting in 2018, which left 17 dead. He’s been critical since the commission discovered nearly 200 weren’t in compliance after getting the results of an anonymous survey, last month.

The commission threatened to name the districts involved if they don’t fall in line by August.

Gualtieri told the press he was hopeful some of the districts were coming around.

“We’re calling them ou t— as we should,” the sheriff said. “This isn’t two days, three days. This is a year plus, almost a year and a half after the incident. They’re still not in compliance. There’s no excuse for it.”

A few districts have taken issue with the staffing of armed personnel calling it an unfunded mandate from the state, despite the sheriff insisting they have enough resources to make it happen.

Gualtieri was speaking in Havana at an event for Florida sheriff’s offices, teaching them how to better handle mass shootings. His three-and-a-half hour presentation covered what went right and wrong in Parkland, featuring unreleased security footage of the shooter walking the halls of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and firing a weapon.

“I think every law enforcement officer, school staff, need to see this presentation,” said Morris Young, the Gadsden County Sheriff. “When you read about it in the news, you don’t see everything.”

Gualtieri recognized the frightening and disturbing nature of the video but said it was important to provide law enforcement with the unvarnished truth of what happened on February 14 of last year.

“We have to have a different outcome,” Gualtieri said. “That outcome is not acceptable. If we want to drive change we have to educate people on what happened and why, so they can make informed decisions and be enlightened.”