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Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

Pinellas County Sheriff  Bob Gualtieri
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

A private security company that was paid thousands of dollars to train school “guardians” in Palm Beach County signed off on armed school security that did not meet statutory training requirements, according to the chairman of the state’s school safety panel.

Pinellas County Sheriff  Bob Gualtieri
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

A state school-safety commission meeting got heated Wednesday as members tackled a range of issues stemming from a controversial school “guardian” program, while one panelist recommended allowing Florida preschools to have armed security.

Two months after the state reported nearly 200 schools did not have an armed resource officer as required by state law, members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission were frustrated to learn that more than two dozen Broward County charter schools lacked a long-term plan for the security guards.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri
SAM TURKEN / WLRN

South Florida is heading back to school. Palm Beach County students started classes on Monday. Broward and Monroe Counties start Wednesday, and students in Miami-Dade go back Aug. 19.

Safety and security are still on the minds of teachers, parents, students and state officials at this start to the second school year since the Parkland shooting. Several school districts in the state — most of which are in South Florida — were found over the summer to still not be in compliance with state safety laws.

Pinellas County Sheriff  Bob Gualtieri
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

News Service of Florida

HAVANA -- Three minutes and 51 seconds.

That’s how long it took Nikolas Cruz to kill 17 students and staff members and injure another 17 during last year’s shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

With new technology like smart devices and facial recognition, lawmakers are weighing ways to balance privacy rights with law enforcement investigations.

Members of The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission voted unanimously Wednesday morning to send their first report to the state authorities in Tallahassee, in hopes that it increases the pace of reforms recommended to prevent another school shooting in Florida. 

The commission that's directing the Florida Legislature's response to the Parkland shooting will recommend that public school teachers be allowed to be armed.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission voted 13-1 on Wednesday evening to suggest that lawmakers expand a state law that now allows some school staff to carry guns but excludes people who are primarily classroom teachers.

Parkland High School Shooting Generating Change In Florida

Nov 30, 2018

Past gun violence produced few lasting changes in Florida, but the Parkland mass shooting has prompted swift new laws and a high-profile committee that is generating action.

As the nation’s eyes were on Broward County, Florida, for a flawed, week long election recount, a state commission a few miles away was investigating the county government’s role in the Feb. 14 massacre at a Parkland high school. It found that failed leadership, inconsistent or unenforced policies, and misinformation contributed to the 17 deaths.

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The sheriff leading the state commission investigating Florida's high school massacre says he now believes trained, volunteer teachers should have access to guns so they can stop shooters who get past other safeguards.

Two Broward County leaders who have been criticized for their handling of the Feb. 14 shooting at a Parkland high school displayed a stark contrast in attitude as they were questioned on Thursday by a state investigative commission that includes parents of slain students.

The then-sheriff's deputy on campus during the Florida high school massacre is scheduled to testify Thursday before a state commission investigating the shooting, a day after members called him "not a real cop" and "a coward."

A poorly organized 911 system hampered the police response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

That’s one finding discussed on Tuesday by the public safety commission investigating the shooting.

Students Say They Reported Threats Before School Massacre

Nov 14, 2018

Two students told investigators they reported the Florida high school shooting suspect to an administrator for making threats but felt they were not taken seriously, a commission investigating the massacre was told Tuesday.

The state commission that’s investigating the Parkland school shooting discussed on Wednesday ways to improve school safety, agreeing that middle and high school campuses should always have at least one police officer present.

Elementary schools, however, could have an armed guardian instead of an officer or sheriff’s deputy, the panel decided. 

Panel Eyes Officer’s Actions During Parkland Massacre

Sep 6, 2018

Scot Peterson, the Broward County school-resource officer who was responsible for protecting students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has been subpoenaed to appear next month before a state commission investigating the Valentine’s Day massacre that left 14 students and three faculty members dead in one of the nation’s worst mass school shootings.

Screenshot from video, courtesy Pinellas County Marketing & Communications:

Pinellas County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday asking Florida lawmakers to take another look at the state's "Stand Your Ground" law.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is firing back at the Reverend Al Sharpton for speaking out against Florida's Stand Your Ground law.

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Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri spoke at a press conference Tuesday to update the public about a recent controversial "stand your ground" case.

The news conference was supposed to include representatives from The Upper Pinellas County Ministerial Alliance and NAACP Clearwater, but they called before the event saying they would not attend. Gualtieri addressed the media alone.

The democratic frontrunner for Florida Attorney General is calling for an end to the state’s “stand your ground” law following a Pinellas County shooting.

A state investigative panel plans to interview officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation about why they failed to act on a tip that could have prevented the Parkland shooting.

The state commission investigating the Florida high school massacre is learning about what happened before, during and after the shooting, but perhaps even more importantly what didn't happen.

Parkland Panel Examines Mental Health Challenges

Jul 13, 2018

A school-safety commission examining the mass shooting at a Parkland high school heard testimony Thursday about Florida’s fractured and overwhelmed mental health system.

Nearly five months after a gunman murdered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, the search for answers continues.

The big-picture question, of course, is how could this have happened?

But within that are all sorts of other questions involving issues such as mental health, guns, school security and police response.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Just days after a Florida sheriff's deputy was killed in the line of duty, ceremonies were held in the Tampa Bay area Wednesday to remember fallen law enforcement officers.

WLRN

A 16-member commission on Tuesday will begin reviewing the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Broward County high school, looking into the circumstances of the crime, the background of the alleged shooter and recommendations to prevent future tragedies.

Tim Fanning / WUSF Public Media

Some local government leaders are saying state legislators are choking their ability to pay for programs for their communities. City and county governments across Florida face a possible decline in tax revenue. That’s because of a proposed homestead exemption on the November ballot.

At the same time, local leaders are scrambling to find funds to pay for state mandated programs, such as Pinellas County's new $20 million school safety officer requirement.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Pinellas County Schools face a massive budget deficit in the wake of new legislation spurred by the Parkland shooting.

The law requires school safety officers to be assigned to every public school in Florida.

Hafsa Quraishi / WUSF Public Media

Governor Rick Scott outlined his recently unveiled safety plan at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Wednesday. The proposed $500 million plan calls for new laws that keep guns from mentally ill people and improve school safety, among other measures.

The move comes in response to the school shooting in Parkland two weeks ago that killed 17 people. 

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Four Florida deputies have been suspended for allegedly neglecting their duties during Hurricane Irma.

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