SARASOTA, Fla. - Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight is calling for the county's schools to add armed military veterans and retired law enforcement officers to help with security.

Under the proposal, Sarasota County Schools would hire the group of contracted workers.

“I’ve had a lot of them call me up and say, ‘We want to help. Give us some opportunities to help,’” Knight said at a news conference on Wednesday morning.

The proposal comes in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Knight assured there would be a thorough vetting and training process to bring in the right people. The sheriff's office would be responsible for training, which would include preparations for potential active-shooter situations.

"We have a large group of retired law enforcement who live here," Knight said. "Most of them are still pretty young, who've retired from law enforcement agencies, who are permitted under federal law to carry a weapon concealed on their person."

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

Knight compared the proposed group to air marshals on flights.

"{It would be} very much like a flight officer would do with TSA," Knight said.

Knight estimated they could put retired officers or veterans in at least 12 Sarasota County schools. However, Knight said it was up to the school system.

The district would have "a pool" of retirees and veterans to pick from under the proposal, Knight said.

"This model might not work in Holmes County or Okeechobee County," Knight said.

The Sarasota school district is accepting input on school safety and security from anyone in the community.

On Tuesday, Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Todd Bowden stressed the district needed flexibility on how to best address ways to prevent violence in schools.

"Don't limit school districts in any way," Bowden said. "Give us the flexibility to work with local law enforcement {and} to work with school safety experts, and figure out the best answer is for our individual schools."

Bowden asked state lawmakers to trust local sheriffs and superintendents to do what's best for each school district.

Anyone wanting to provide their input to the district can email

Related: Sarasota's school district receives 600 emails on school safety

Previous: Sarasota school leaders want to hear your ideas to make schools safer

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