DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – As students prepare to go back to school, Broward County deputies trained for the worst-case scenario Thursday, holding an active shooter simulation at Deerfield Beach High School.
“We looked at and seeing what occurred at Uvalde, just like the rest of the country, in the world, for that matter and we started to pick apart what they did wrong,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said. “And look(ed) at OK, can we do better?”
There were two components to Thursday morning’s training.
“The first element will be an active shooter response where our (school resource officers) will respond,” Tony said before the scenario. “They will get out to the site location, track down, eliminate and neutralize any threat that may exist, rolling into the tactical medical protocols that are necessary to save lives. And while that’s occurring, you will see our managerial staff, our captains, working on the outside, coordinating with the schools.”
A major goal of the training is to ensure deputies are prepared to properly communicate. Communications issues were identified by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission as a major hindrance in BSO’s response to the Parkland school shooting.
Tony and school district officials say these trainings are key, but had a message to parents and students as the school year approaches regarding threats.
“Parents: I need you to pay attention to what your kids are communicating on their phones,” Tony said. “I need you to disseminate the message to your kids that this is not a laughing matter. It will result in your child being walked out of a school in handcuffs and we will support and work with the State Attorney to make sure enough evidence is there that he can be successful in a conviction.”
District officials say they do plan to perform similar trainings monthly as the school year goes on in Deerfield Beach.