BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Brevard County school resource deputies will transition into a new "tactical appearance" in the upcoming school year to keep students and staff safe.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey announced in a video on Facebook that all school resource deputies in Brevard County will now be armed with a rifle at all times each school day.
"The school resource deputies for Brevard County Sheriff's Office will transition to a new style uniform and level of preparedness that goes even further to help keep our children safe," he said in the video. "A tactical appearance that clearly signifies we mean business when it comes to protecting our children and a tactical advantage that gives our team the ability to instantly address an active shooter who might be on our campus with a rifle."
The installment of deputies carrying a rifle on school grounds comes after the recent school shooting in Uvalde that killed 19 children and two teachers.
It reportedly took about more than an hour for authorities to enter the classroom where the shooter was located in the school.
Ivey said that although Brevard County schools are among the safest across the country, he wants to ensure someone with bad intentions toward students and teachers will rethink their decision of causing any harm.
"(With having our school resource deputies carrying a rifle), anyone with an evil heart will think twice about coming onto one of our campuses and trying to harm a child or one of our teachers," Ivey said. "You are not coming into my schools and killing our children."
In years prior, school resource deputies in Brevard County kept a rifle in their car and were only allowed to use it for emergency purposes, Ivey said.
Deputies would reportedly have to go to their car parked in a school parking lot, get their rifles from the gun safe and head back inside the school to address the problem.
Ivey said the new uniforms give school resource deputies the opportunity to be ready at all times to face a serious threat without taking any extra steps to do so.
"This new style uniform and tactical preparedness gives our team members the advantage and ability to instantly address the threat with the level of force necessary to eliminate the shooter and save the lives of innocent children and teachers," he said in the video. "While there will be those that perhaps don't understand this new tactical approach to keeping our kids safe, it is my prayer that this new level of preparedness and immediate ability to address the threat will prevent an active shooter from ever walking on one of our campuses and trying to harm a child."
Students in Brevard County, and in most counties in the Tampa Bay region, are scheduled to return back to school on Wednesday, Aug. 10.