LAKELAND, Fla. - Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced Thursday the expansion of his Sentinel Program to another college campus.

The sheriff's office will train staff at Webber International University in Babson Park to carry a concealed gun in case of an active shooter.

The school will select volunteers to participate. They'll undergo 132 hours of training, a psychological exam, a criminal background check and a drug test.

Judd outlined a hypothetical, worst-case scenario as an endorsement of the program during Thursday's news conference:

"I've got grandkids in the school system today, and the active shooter is coming down the hallway towards any one of my grandchildren's class, and a representative who works at the school is well trained and has a gun," Judd said. "Do I want them to step out into that hallway and start shooting at that guy {hypothetical gunman}, or do I want him {the hypothetical gunman} to walk into the classrooms with my babies and shoot them up?

"Everyone just has to ask themselves that question."

Watch: Click or tap here to watch Thursday's news conference in its entirety

Thursday's announcement comes in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. However, Judd the sheriff's office already planned to implement the program at Webber International University prior to the Parkland shooting.

"We can argue and debate gun control all day long, but I'm not going to do that today," Judd said.

State lawmakers do not need to propose new legislation for the program to take effect, according to Judd, because the armed staffers will be considered sworn deputies.

"If the unthinkable happens, do I want a deputy sheriff across the county or across the campus?" Wade said. "If the unthinkable happens, and I pray every day that it doesn't, I've got help 15 seconds away, not 15 minutes."

Wade said he "prays the new program is a waste of time and money."

On campus, the reaction from students was mixed.

"If anything ever was to happen, then at least I would feel safe in knowing that my professor is trained and knows what to do," sophomore George Daniels said.

"We should have better security rather than the staff having guns," Shay Johnson argued.

Sheriff's Sentinels would serve as "special deputies" to provide the university safety during an active-shooter situation. The special deputy sheriffs do not have authority to act as law enforcement outside of a deadly-threat situation on campus, according to a release.

Judd said the Sentinel Program is available to any school in Polk County, including public schools.

In December 2016, Judd first established the program at Southeastern University. The sheriff's office officially implemented the program on the Lakeland, Florida, campus in summer 2017. He expects the Sentinels at Webber to be trained in the next 90 days.

"The most important lives we can protect are the lives of our children," Judd said.

Related: 'Just give us the tools' | Sheriff Grady Judd says we can prevent school violence

Thursday's announcement comes a day after Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight proposed arming retired law enforcement officers and military veterans at schools in Sarasota County.

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