Sometimes positive change emerges from unbearable tragedy. We lost 17 angels in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting, and as a result, armed security guards are now in place at all Broward public schools. These “guardians” are not trained police officers. However, the Broward Sheriff’s Office provides thorough training using a sophisticated simulator that projects realistic scenarios on a screen.
Budget for this simulator, however, did not include essential accessories, such as guns and flashlights. Thanks to Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council support, the training department was able to purchase these critical items and enhance the effectiveness of the training and therefore the proficiency of the individuals protecting our community’s children.
Participants, using the simulator together with the accessories, are more accurately evaluated by their reaction time, accuracy and decision-making skills. Training Director Major Steve Robson believes “as both an officer and a father” that this new program is positive for our public school system.
“These trained Guardians are GIVING OUR CHILDREN BETTER PROTECTION THAN THEY’VE EVER HAD BEFORE” he said.
YOUR GENEROUS DONATIONS AT WORK:
Training Simulator ……………… $25,000
SWAT Medic Legislative Bill ….. $5,000
The request was urgent and critical. Florida State Bill 722, which would allow SWAT Medics across the state to be armed when involved in such high-risk situations as an active shooter, was winding its way through the arduous legislative process with no guarantee of passage.
The Broward Chiefs of Police Association (BCCPA) sent out a plea to SWAT team members and medics. Personal testimonies were needed to sway the vote. The window of opportunity was short and the travel budget non-existent. Luckily, Broward Sheriff ’s Advisory Council stepped up with the necessary funding, allowing Broward County Sheriff ’s Office SWAT Commanders and Medics, as well as other representatives, to travel several times to Tallahassee.
Those face-to-face meetings made all the difference. Today, the proposed legislation is now law, a change that will increase the safety of both officers and victims.
“Putting faces and stories before members of the committee was critical,” recalled Captain Lees. “Having the nimble support of Broward Sheriff ’s Advisory Council made a huge difference in getting this Bill signed into law.”