WINTER PARK, Fla. - Two Winter Park elementary schools will now get full-time school resource officers, following Gov. Rick Scott's recommendations to improve school security after the shooting at a South Florida school left 17 dead more than two weeks ago.
Winter Park Police Chief Michael Deal said he feels the change in necessary after law enforcement officers in South Florida were accused of not doing enough after the shooting broke out at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
"We are all heartbroken and very disturbed by the potential failures of law enforcement in Broward County to prevent the loss of so many innocent victims," Deal wrote in a statement.
The armed school resource officer at the high school in Parkland did not enter the building after accused shooter Nikolas Cruz began firing rounds from an AR-15 assault-style rifle, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.
Israel said that instead of going in and trying to stop the shooter, former deputy Scot Peterson took cover outside and “did nothing.”
An attorney for the former school deputy said Peterson believed the shooter or shooters were outside, and that he was acting consistently with his training from the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Peterson resigned after Israel suspended him without pay.
Schools across the Orlando area have re-evaluated their safety procedures in light of the tragedy and conversations held about safety in state schools.
Winter Park police said the department plans to staff an officer at Brookshire and Lakemont elementary schools. The schools previously shared one officer.
Officers said they would also revisit active shooting drills and standard operating procedures for any potential threats to students.
Middle and high schools in the Winter Park area already have full-time resource officers.
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