Members of MSD Safety Commission React to Peterson's Arrest

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Safety Commission didn't have any official testimony on Wednesday about ex-school resource officer Scot Peterson and the charges filed against him, but they believe the charges send a clear message that when it comes to the safety of students that if you have a job to do, you must do it.

The images of Peterson in handcuffs resonated loudly with the MSD Commission. Those on the panel who lost their children said he should be held accountable long ago. Now that is underway, they are looking at the big picture the charges send to those responsible for safety at schools.

"Well, they need to take this responsibility seriously and I hope it sends that message," said Ryan Petty, who lost his daughter Alaina in the shooting.

Petty said that prior to Tuesday, he had known that Peterson was standing outside the school building more than 40 minutes — something that will always mystify him."

"How Deputy Peterson stood outside for 48 minutes while children and teachers were being slaughtered inside, I'll never understand it," Petty said. "I'm pleased to see the charges were filed. I've been disturbed by his statements in the media. I'm glad to see there were perjury charges associated with the charges that were filed."

The Chairman of the MSD Commission Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said he doesn't ever recall a situation like this and hope there will never be another one like it.

"You had a law enforcement officer who had a clear obligation and clear opportunity to save others and he didn't," Gualtieri said. "He made a conscious decision not to."

Peterson is now potentially facing a century of prison time. Gualtieri says that makes it crystal clear.

"I think the message that it sends to everybody is this is a terrible situation," he said. "He's been held accountable for it. And I can't even fathom and other law enforcement officer in this state or in this country not doing what they should do like what Scot Peterson did."

The MSD Commission Wednesday evening wrapped up its latest series of meetings. Petty said that he doesn't expect a principal to confront and armed gunmen, but everyone who plays a role in school security must do their job.

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