Additional openings announced for Volusia County School Guardian Program

Applications being accepted until Thursday

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor, Loren Korn - Reporter

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - For those who missed the original deadline when it came to applying for the Volusia County School Guardian Program, there's now another chance.

Applications are being accepted once again because a handful of the current recruits did not meet the required 85 percent firearm proficiency, according to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

"We're not rubber stamping anybody. You may have a handful that wash out. You may have another handful that when they get in the school, determine this isn't for me. Or the principal determines this person is not right for this job," Chitwood said.

He said five people from the current class, which began training on July 2, will not pass.

Chitwood approached the school board on Monday to ask if they could re-open the application process to have more people apply.

"I'm confident we are hiring quality people. Will they be able to meet the standard? That's the question that we have," he said.

One of the candidates who applied is former Daytona Beach Police Officer Kristina Delk.

"It is a higher standard and which it should be,"  Delk said.

Delk is hoping to be one of the 49 who can make 85 percent of the shoots in the shooting test in order to pass.

"We're in a school system, we need to be accurate and we need to be better than everyone else," she said.

Delk, a new mother, is one of three female candidates in the program and believes it's important for women to fill this role.

"We are great with verbal skills and de-escalating. There's an aspect there physically that we have to uphold to the same thing as men and it's great to be able to prove ourselves that we're just as capable," she said.

When the job was initially posted in June, it was quickly closed after officials received 180 applications for 49 positions.

[READ: What exactly is a school guardian?]

Candidates who passed the initial phase of interviews had to undergo fingerprinting, drug screening, background checks, polygraph tests and a psychological evaluation.

"They'll be hired by the school board. They'll be vetted by the sheriff's office. They'll be trained by the sheriff's office. They will not have the power of arrest and they will be armed," Chitwood said last month.

[RELATED: Volusia County school guardians in training feel weight of protecting students]

The guardian program was implemented in Volusia County to help keep children safe in schools and is part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.

The sheriff’s office will purchase equipment -- including firearms, ammunition, holsters and magazine pouches -- for the guardians. The school board has agreed to provide web belts, polo shirts and body armor.

For more information on the requirements for guardians and how to apply, click here. The posting is scheduled to be closed on Thursday.

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