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Florida Matters Newsmaker Preview: Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd

Polk County Sheriff's Office Facebook

This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our ongoing "Newsmaker" series. We talk with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd about a number of issues, including the programs his department runs that train and arm staff members in schools to fend off active shooters.

The first program, known as the Sentinel Program, was developed in 2016 and is currently used at Southeastern University. Webber International also recently adopted the program and other private schools have expressed interest.

While the Sentinel Program involves existing school staff that volunteer for the training, a new program, known as the Guardian Program, will involve schools hiring new staff members to take on these security roles.

The Guardian program will soon be implemented in Polk County public schools as a way to comply with the new state law that came about after the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.
Robin Sussingham was Senior Editor at WUSF until September 2020.