Broward Schools To Soon Have Armed Guards In Every School

It's official: next school year, almost every public school in Broward County will have some form of armed staff on campus at all times during normal school hours. 

Last week, the Broward County School Board voted unanimously to approve the hiring of armed guards for all of the district's traditional public schools that do not already have a school resource officer. 

Charter schools aren't included in the proposal.

The district will require applicants to have at least a high school diploma or GED, and two years of law enforcement experience to qualify. The Florida Senate also requires that the guard applicants have a valid concealed-carry license, pass a psychological evaluation and drug screening and have completed 132 hours of firearm safety training.

The guards will differ from SROs in that they will be less expensive to staff and they will not be sworn-in officers employed by law enforcement agencies. They will, however, receive mandatory training from BSO authorities.

Broward schools are increasing security in response to the February shooting at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High in Parkland, where 14 students and three school staff members were fatally shot.

The state granted Broward an additional $8 million to assist in covering guards' pay, which will range from approximately $17 to $22 an hour.

An August referendum ballot will potentially increase funding for recruiting and compensating SROs and other school security. If passed, that referendum is projected to bring in an additional $93 million.

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