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Sheriff Judd reacts to Texas shooting tragedy, says Florida has made strides in school safety

Sheriff Grady Judd said schools need more armed trained volunteers ready to intervene in the case of a dangerous situation on school grounds.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — After the Parkland High School shooting in 2018, a commission was formed in Florida to create rules with the goal of keeping kids safe at school.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd serves on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, and so does Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

Judd explained this commission has made changes that made Florida schools safer for kids. 

"Your children in Florida are safer today than they were prior to that Marjorie Stoneman terrible, terrible tragedy," Sheriff Judd said.

He also said the shooting in Uvalde, Texas is another tragedy that makes him sad and angry. 

"I am heartbroken for the family and obviously the children. Life will never be the same for all of them. Quite frankly, I’m angry. I am angry at the shooter. He is responsible for this horrible, horrible, horrible tragedy that occurred," Judd explained.

Judd explained there are things the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission has done to improve safety in the event of a dangerous situation, such as Florida's Guardian Program. 

Judd said this stemmed from a program in Polk County a couple of years before the Parkland shooting. 

"In this county, I created a program where we train volunteers to be armed and well trained to protect campuses," he said.

After the Parkland shooting, that program became the basis for the Guardian Program

"I think that’s made a remarkable difference because now every public school, every charter school in the state of Florida has a full-time well trained armed person on campus to protect children," Judd stated.

Judd also explained how this program did see pushback from some people. He understood not everyone agrees with him when he said "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Judd recognizes people disagree but said his experiences support his belief.

"When someone dials 911 and says the shooter is there now, we can never get there in time," he said.

Judd is glad to see the Guardian Program in action but believes more armed trained volunteers should be on campuses.

As those in Texas suffer the loss of so many precious lives, he has a message for everyone. 

"My message is to hug your son or daughter a little bit tighter," Judd stated.

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