What to Know
- The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act requires all Florida school districts to have safety officers at every campus.
- Broward County Public Schools will hire 55 armed guardians that will be stationed at its elementary schools.
Broward County Public Schools has hired a new crop of armed guardians to keep up with a statewide mandate that requires safety officers at each campus by the new school year.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act requires all Florida school districts to either partner with local law enforcement to provide a school resource officer, or SRO; to hire its own SRO; or participate in an approved guardian program.
Due to the shortage of cops, the Broward school district's target is to hire 55 armed guardians that will be stationed at its elementary schools, since the middle and high schools already have SROs.
"The fact that we're having guardians in the schools makes us safer from day one than we would be without anything at all," said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.
Each new hire has either a law enforcement or military background and must pass a background test, drug test, psychological evaluation and complete 132 hours of comprehensive firearm safety and proficiency training from the Broward Sheriff's Office.
"These aren't just average civilians that we put here, these are individuals that already had law enforcement backgrounds," said superintendent Robert Runcie. "This is what I would call refresher training for a lot of these individuals."
Applicants should have a minimum of two years within the last 10 years of experience as a sworn law enforcement officer or corrections officer and be in "good standing" at the time they left employment. The position pays between $25,000 and $32,619 a year.