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Volusia Sheriff Says District Should Consider Arming Eligible School Staff Members

Volusia County Sheriff's Twitter
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Volusia County Schools needs to hire 45 more resource officers to meet a new state requirement– put in place after the Parkland shooting.

The district is considering many ideas including hiring retired deputies. Sheriff Mike Chitwood said he doesn’t think there are enough of them available. He’s also concerned about expired certifications.

Chitwood thinks hiring former deputies and training some school staff is the way to go. That could be school employees who already have gun permits or military experience.

“To solely go with law enforcement is not going to happen, to solely go with the guardian program is not going to happen, so we need a combined effort,” said Chitwood.

The state’s new guardian program allows sheriffs to train school staff who volunteer to intervene during a school attack. Full-time teachers are exempt with exceptions including ROTC instructors.