Mr. Ryan Petty – father of 14-year-old Alaina Petty, a Parkland, Florida shooting victim – undergoes the rigorous training to become an honorary Polk County School Guardian in Florida.

“Mr. Petty is actually going to undergo and complete all of our classroom training and firearms qualifications – per his request – to be sworn in as an honorary Polk County School Guardian. We are in awe of his commitment to this program and are more than happy to help him fulfill this dream of his to honor his daughter’s memory.” – Grady Judd, Polk County Sheriff.

The actual course has already begun, with the classroom portion. A July 3rd training, includes the discretionary shooting training with the simulator. If Mr. Petty completes every level of the training, and we are confident that he will, Sheriff Judd will swear him in as an honorary Guardian at a later date, to be announced.

The Guardian program is a collaboration between Polk County Schools and the sheriff’s office. The position was created to meet new statewide requirements set by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act of 2018. This program “is the last best chance to save your child when all the different layers of security have failed,” Judd said. “Their job is simply this: to be well-trained, to react within seconds, to find the active shooter and kill him graveyard dead before he can hurt your child with a gun.”

These guardians are not school resource officers. They will have no authority to arrest and will not be considered law enforcement. However, they will carry a firearm on campuses.

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