Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel gave a press conference on Wednesday, where he discussed plans for school safety after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week. Israel's plans include "fortifying" schools and arming deputies on campus.
"Schools as soft targets need to be fortified," Israel said. "We need to look at how many school resource deputies are being employed at each school."
Broward Sheriff on how schools can be better secured: "Schools as soft targets need to be fortified. We need to look at how many school resource deputies are being employed at each school." https://t.co/O0pXTKVqV6 pic.twitter.com/wFsq2AevcV— ABC News (@ABC) February 21, 2018
Israel said that every school in the U.S. needs to have a resource deputy. He even discussed the possibility of arming them with AR-15 assault rifles — the same gun used by Nikolas Cruz to take 17 lives on Valentine's Day. The weapon has been used in many of the worst mass shootings in recent years, including the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas last October.
The press conference was live-streamed on Twitter. Israel told reporters that Robert W. Runcie, the Broward Superindendent, supported the idea of arming resource deputies. The Broward County Sheriff's office has faced some criticism for their handling of last week's shooting. The deputy on campus was armed according to reports, but he never fired his gun.
"His response and actions, like everyone else, will be scrutinized," Israel said.
However, Israel rejected the accusations that his department was trying to take more credit than they deserve for the emergency response on Wednesday.
"Shame on anyone who would talk about credit at a time like this," he said. "This is about the victims and the families who lost their loved ones and anybody who would worry about credit at a time like this is petty."
"I want to thank the youngsters from Stoneman Douglas, and all over Broward County," he said. "They are going to be going places, or have gone places — like Tallahassee and Washington D.C., and they will continue to have their voices heard. They'll continue to speak up for sensible gun control. They'll continue to speak out about refining and restructuring Baker Act laws and the empowerment of police."
Some of the survivors from Stoneman Douglas High travelled to Tallahassee on Tuesday and asked Florida state lawmakers to enact a ban on assault weapons, but they were denied. They have helped organize marches, protests and walk-outs across the country. Most notably, they're working on an event called March for Our Lives, where students from across the country will march on Washington D.C. Many celebrities and high-profile donors have voiced their support for the event.