By: Erika Fernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
June 13, 2018
SOPCHOPPY, Fla. (WCTV) -- A new state law requires every Florida school to have an armed law enforcement officer, and WCSO deputies are going through real life active shooter situations both inside classrooms and on school buses.
Shots ringing out inside a school building are every parent's worst nightmare, but WCSO deputies are gearing up and going in.
"School safety is going to be one of our number one priorities for the children of this county and the staff at the Wakulla County Schools system," said Sheriff Jared Miller.
WCSO says nothing is changing about the officers' approach to protecting schools.
"We have to get in, we have to engage, we have to neutralize," said Deputy Sheriff Ronald Mitchell.
Using fake guns and dummy ammunition, the deputies are getting a sense of the pressure that comes with securing a school and everyone inside.
"If you've never experienced something in training and you overcome that in the real world, it’s very hard to overcome. So, with that training, we're basically teaching these officers what response is necessary to prevent that loss of life," Mitchell said.
Preventing loss of life, and protecting the community's most vulnerable.
"We're so happy that we can provide that service to our citizens and more importantly to the children of this county. The children are our future and that's what we need to protect," Sheriff Miller said.
The county is shifting from having just four school resource officers to now implementing 11.
Sheriff Miller said the county is spending over $500,000 to implement the additional SROs. The deputies will finish up training this summer and be ready to go by the start of the new school year.