Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

"Model" security plan for Florida schools would cost billions, official says

Sept. 5, 2018
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is leading a commission investigating the February shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

The sheriff leading a commission investigating the February high school massacre in Parkland, Fla., says it would cost billions of dollars to put a model security plan fully in place for the state’s schools.

The Associated Press reports that Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission that adding security measures such as high-tech video systems, metal detectors and bullet-proof glass at the state’s 4,200 public schools would cost more than $2 billion.

In addition, placing at least one armed police officer at each campus would cost $400 million annually. Gualtieri says 1,350 police officers are assigned to schools and some campuses have more than one officer. He says there aren’t enough available police officers in the state to hire enough to fill the gaps.

The commission has been meeting about every four weeks since April. The members include law enforcement, education and mental health officials, a legislator and two parents of victims and they will issue a report by Jan. 1 recommending changes to the Legislature and the next governor.

Gualtieri says the commission’s investigators have conducted more than 300 interviews—Broward County sheriff’s officials, Coral Gables police, students and staff at the school and friends, family, neighbors and therapists of alleged killer Nikolas Cruz. 

Cruz is accused of killing 14 students and three staff members at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14. 

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