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A second university in Polk County has announced that they will be joining a program that will allow its staff and faculty to legally carry guns on campus.

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Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd explains why he believes school staff should carry guns as Webber International University joins the Sheriff's Sentinel Program.

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A second university in Polk County has announced that they will be joining a program that will allow its staff and faculty to legally carry guns on campus.

University in Florida to allow teachers, staff to carry guns through program with sheriff's office

BABSON PARK, Fla. — A second university in Polk County has announced that they will be joining a program that will allow its staff and faculty to legally carry guns on campus.

The announcement comes just eight days after a gunman opened fire on a Florida high school killing 17 people.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with Webber International University, is establishing the Sheriff's Sentinel Program to enhance the safety of an already safe and secure community of students, faculty, staff, and guests at the University's campus in Babson Park, Florida.

"Prayers are not enough,"  said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd in a press conference on Thursday. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Sheriff Judd explained that each teacher or staff member will have to go through extensive training through the program before they are given a gun.

"My babies — your babies — are in that classroom, and that active shooter is coming down the hallway with that thousand yard stare and that gun in their hand, do you want somebody to step out and stop him? Or do you want him to go into the classroom and slaughter your babies?" -Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd

 

 

 

The Sentinel Program was first rolled out in December 2016 at Southeastern University.

RELATED | Despite state ban, Polk Sheriff finds legal way to arm staff and faculty at Lakeland university

Key components of the Sheriff's Sentinel Program are:

Why Special Deputies? To take advantage of PCSO professional training and to provide a legal mechanism for staff and faculty to carry a concealed firearm on campus. (Florida State Statutes, Chapter 30)

Should teachers and staff be allowed to carry guns?

Gun control in spotlight after South Florida school shooting

Special Deputy Sheriff Sentinel Program Training: (132 total hours)

Higher Standards: The 100-hour block of firearms instruction is 25% more instruction than the equivalent block of CJSTC law enforcement firearms instruction deputies receive (80 hours). Additionally, Sentinel Program participants will be required to pass the firearms training at an 85% pass rate compared to the CJSTC standard of an 80% pass rate. The 16-hour precision pistol course is additional training (not required for deputy sheriffs). The 4-hour block discretionary shooting instruction is a separate training for the Sentinel Program (incorporated into the 80-hour block of instruction). Sentinels will receive 8 hours of active shooter/assailant training (deputies receive 6 hours training).

Participation in the Sheriff's Sentinel Program may be denied or terminated by the Polk County Sheriff's Office for any reason, including:

Additional Details

Costs of the program shall be determined by contract between Webber International University and the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Mary Stringini is a Digital Producer for ABC Action News. Follow her on Twitter @MaryWFTS.

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