Deputies guarding schools in Broward County will carry rifles, including AR-15s, under an order issued Wednesday by Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.
Israel said the order applies only to deputies qualified on rifles and has the support of Broward schools Superintendent Robert Runcie after the Parkland school shooting.
“This morning I implemented a practice in the Broward Sheriff’s Office and spoke to Mr. Runcie who was fully supportive of my decision that our deputies who are qualified and trained would be carrying rifles on school grounds from this point forward,” Israel said at a news conference at BSO headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.
The Broward County Chiefs of Police Association agreed Wednesday morning to ask the school district to allow officers to keep rifles locked in school offices during the day and take them home at night.
Several police departments have asked the school district to allow that for years, said Margate Chief Dana Watson, vice president of the chiefs’ group.
The School District’s spokespeople did not respond to questions Wednesday about why the prior requests from law enforcement were denied, the Sun Sentinel.