Tampa Bay schools compliant with Fla. school safety laws, required armed personnel

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – We now know all Tampa Bay area school districts are in compliance with new Florida school safety laws stating there must be armed personnel on campus.

The news comes out of Broward County where the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Safety Commission met today. The statewide commission was created in response to last year’s tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Seventeen students and staff members were killed in the Valentine’s Day mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, and more than a dozen others were injured.

New survey results state everyone in the state, with the exception of some Broward schools, are compliant. The news appeared to shock Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

“Are all of the people that are not compliant in Broward County? (Yes sir.) Everybody else is compliant statewide? (Yes sir.) And this is where it happened. This is where the massacre happened and these schools are the very last and some haven’t complied,” Judd spoke back and forth with Damien Kelly, Director of Safe Schools with the Department of Education.

Sheriff Judd is asking to get a list of those schools by tomorrow. The meeting is set to begin again at 8:30 a.m.

In January 2019, the MSD Commission released a report with recommendations to improve law enforcement response and strengthen school safety. The report also outlined what they believe went wrong that day in Broward County and ways to prevent another school shooting.

Lawmakers quickly responded to the report and passed new school safety laws requiring schools to harden their campuses.

One of the measures includes a requirement to have an armed school guardian, or officer on every campus.

All Florida schools are now required to have as many active shooter drills as they do fire drills.

Many districts have implemented new security systems and more secure entryways.

“This commission that I’m a part of is making a positive difference. Children are safer in the state of Florida at school than they’ve ever been,” Sheriff Judd said.

According to the agenda, the upcoming meeting will also include speakers on mental health programs, juvenile diversion programs, how to train school resource officers, and modifying schools monthly active assailant drills.

The commission is scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday in Sunrise.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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