TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office announced its school resource deputies will adopt a new look and “level of preparedness” as a means to discourage and respond to targeted attacks on school schools grounds during the upcoming school year.

“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,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said.

In response, the school resource deputies will transition to a new “level of preparedness” that features an enhanced “tactical” appearance. Ivey said the new look signifies “we mean business when it comes to protecting our children.”

As part of the change, school resource deputies will also open-carry rifles around school halls as opposed to previous protocols where long guns were locked in cruiser-mounted gun safes.

“This new style of 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,” Ivey said.

He added his first goal was to ensure that county schools are hard targets so “anyone with evil in their heart will think twice before coming onto our campuses.”

“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!!” Ivey said.