Gov. DeSantis rolls out plan to try to identify potential mass shooters

Florida law enforcement officers to be trained to spot potential mass shooters

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announces that there would be refunds coming to families that have been paying into the Florida Prepaid tuition plan since 2008 and a reduction in the costs for new enrollments during a press conference in Jacksonville, Fla., Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union via AP) (Bob Self, Copyright The Florida Times-Union 2020)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Florida law enforcement officers will be trained to spot potential mass shooters before they act under a program rolling out this summer.

“Today we announce the unveiling of our behavioral threat assessment and management strategy program,” Gov. DeSantis said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the initiative alongside the state’s top law enforcement officer Wednesday at a news conference outside Orlando.

"In the Parkland case, there were clearly multiple times where action could've been taken to disrupt this individual - they may have not known he was actually planning that day but clearly there were times where he could've had interventions," Gov. DeSantis said.

Ryan Petty, who was recently appointed to Florida's State Board of Education, lost his 14-year-old daughter, Alaina, in the Parkland shooting.

“I believe we can go from reacting to tragedies like Parkland to preventing them,” Petty said.

Under the program, Florida will be the first state in the nation to have a statewide plan for identifying threats and taking action to intervene.

“These incidents don’t just happen in schools, they happen in other places of worship our public spaces our businesses so it’s very important we tackle this problem in all the venues where we work and live,” said Commissioner Rick Swearingen with FDLE

The program starts in July with the introduction of a curriculum for recruits at police academies around the state.

Training will be offered to patrol officers and deputies, investigators and law enforcement executives.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

About the Authors:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!