WESTON, Fla. – Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony and Peter Licata, Broward County Public Schools’ new superintendent, are relying on many of the lessons learned after the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland to improve on-campus security.
School Board chair, Lori Alhadeff, whose 14-year-old daughter Alyssa was among the 17 dead during the shooting in the 1200 building, said she was making sure they do. On Thursday, she was with Tony and Licata to witness how Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies trained.
Dozens of BSO school resource officers took over Cypress Bay High School, at 18600 Vista Park Blvd., in Weston, for a realistic simulation. The sound of gunshots echoed during the active shooter drill, which involved quickly moving to eliminate a threat and then helping to save lives.
“There is a two core mission: Stop the killing, then stop the dying,” Tony said about the training exercise.
The BSO team school resource officers will continue to prepare for the return of students, teachers, and administrators on Aug. 21 to over 330 public schools. Tony said this 2023-24 school year, BSO counts on 58 more school resource officers who will be assigned to 49 schools.
Licate said there are many back-to-school components to align and he had a message for the community: He asked parents and guardians to be proactive and remain aware of what their kids are up to. He encouraged those who think there is trouble to check on their kids’ belongings.
“Read their notes,” Licate said. “See what’s at the bottom of that backpack.”