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Broward County Sheriff: Schools to have guards armed with rifles

"Every decision I make in this investigation is going to be geared to making sure that I’ve done everything that I possibly can to try and make sure these incidents never happen again,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, left, appears on a CNN Town Hall with NRA Spokeswoman Dana Loesch, right on Wednesday, February 21. Credit: CNN via Twitter. [Screengrab]
Published Feb. 22, 2018

Sheriff Scott Israel announced Wednesday he's changing the way Broward County schools are policed in the wake of the Parkland school shooting.

According to the Sun Sentinel, Israel has ordered officers who guard Broward County schools to arm themselves with rifles, including, in some instances AR-15s — the same weapon used by the gunman to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last Wednesday.

"Only deputies who are trained and qualified will carry those rifles," Israel said, per the Sun Sentinel. "But we need to be able to defeat any threat that comes onto campus."

The Sun Sentinel noted that Israel's deputies only protect schools in cities that don't have their own police departments. Israel said the move has the full support of Robert Muncie, the superintendent of Broward County public schools.

The announcement came the same day Israel appeared on a CNN town hall to discuss measures that might prevent another mass shooting. In one notable exchange with NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, Israel implied the gun lobby is more interested in protecting weapons than lives.

"You just told this group of people that you are standing up for them," Israel said."You're not standing up for them until you say, 'I want less weapons.'"

Still, Israel announced, Broward County must fortify its schools' defenses.

"Every decision I make in this investigation is going to be geared to making sure that I've done everything that I possibly can to try and make sure these incidents never happen again," he said, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Read the Sun Sentinel story here.

Read More: Rubio faces tough audience at CNN forum, backs some gun restrictions while refusing to disavow NRA

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