Sheriff Judd: Every Polk Co. public school will have an armed officer on campus next week

Posted at 2:35 PM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 21:53:16-04

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says he will put armed law enforcement officers on every Polk County public school campus starting next week.

At least 10 dead in Texas high school shooting

“These officers will patrol our campuses to ensure the continued safety of our students,” said Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd. “I am grateful to our law enforcement partners for their commitment to keeping our students and schools safe.”

“I am devastated and heartbroken by today’s tragic news,” Byrd said. “Events such as these are reminders that we must always be vigilant in protecting our children. We can never let our guard down. The safety of our children is too precious.”

No backpacks will be allowed for the remainder of the school year and students may carry bags no larger than a small purse, according to the Polk County Public School District. Lunchboxes will still be permitted. 

The armed officers will be on campus for the final three-and-a-half days of the school semester. 

“With this terrible tragedy happening in Santa Fe, Texas, our local school leadership and our local law enforcement leadership will ensure an armed police presence at all of our schools through the end of the school year,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “The interviews, screening, and selection of our armed guardians are well underway. We will be prepared to have armed guardians at schools in the fall. Until then, the Chiefs and I have committed to making sure there will be an armed law enforcement presence at all our local public schools.”





This decision comes after the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas Friday morning.

News of heightened school security measures is a relief for RVanessa Holley, a mother of four from Winter Haven. 

“I think that’s a good idea and it makes me feel better knowing that there’s somebody there and somebody who will act," said Holley.