DeFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB)- School starts in just a few weeks and that has school safety on several parents minds. One school district in the Panhandle is bringing in extra hands to help increase safety.
Real-life scenarios are taking place in the halls of Walton County High School, where guardians and school resource deputies are training on how to handle a situation if an active shooter is on campus.
“We have to be able to respond in case of crisis. We have to know what to do. Our kids deserve that. Our community deserves that so, we have to prepare for the worst,” explained Charlie Morse, Safety Specialist.
Morse explained that, on August 12, students and parents will notice extra security on campus. It’s apart of the Guardian Program.
“Walton County School District is taking a little different approach,” said Morse. “This is going to be a secondary force that will help us in the school district.”
Trained alongside the school resource deputies, the guardians have 144 hours under their belt.
“That way we know that these people are vetted. You know we are not putting just your average joe in a school and expecting them to perform,” said Corey Dobridnia, Walton County Sheriffs Office, Public Information Officer.
The saying rings true: “Practice makes perfect.” Now, they are refreshing before school starts.
“Gone are the days where we just set up a perimeter around the school and waiting things out,” explained Dobridnia.
Now, the system is for trained professionals to seek out that threat and secure the building for the safety of the children.
In these role-playing scenarios, the guardians and school resource deputies are maneuvering through the halls and classrooms searching for the active shooter.
“Our children are our greatest asset and the guardians understand that and our new hires understand that. This active shooter training is just a testimony to our dedication,” said Dobridnia.
Walton County School officials say they hope that the parents will now be at ease knowing that there will be extra hands-on campus that are trained an licensed.