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Broward Sheriff enhances school safety after Texas shooting

FORT LAUDERDALE - The deadly massacre of 19 children at a school in Texas once again brought the threat of gun violence home to South Florida.

Many families are wondering how they are supposed to feel safe after something like this has happened again.

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said he can understand their concerns and frustrations.

"I'm sick and tired of hearing the political rhetoric and the calmness of either those in my position or in a similar position. We're facing evil out here. There is a legitimate evil that walks our streets in every part of the country," he said.

On Wednesday, Tony and Broward Schools Superintendent Dr. Vicki Cartwright said they have implemented a plan to help keep the children safe.

"We instantly put a plan together with our law enforcement operations to ensure that we enhance the patrol capacity in all of our districts. That includes a partnership with Broward County Chiefs of Police who are also doing so in the municipal cities they're responsible for and schools in their territories. We will sustain that for as long as we can," said Tony.

Cartwright said in recent years, improvements have been made in schools to enhance safety.

"We have external doors that are locked. We have a single point of entry go into our schools," she said.

"We have been sending out communications to our security staff to be extra vigilant, to be purposeful and mindful in the actions that they are doing, that they are tasked to be doing on a daily basis," she added.

In Texas, the school shooter was able to get into school despite a battle with police. The sheriff said the department's deputies are better equipped after our own deadly shooting.

"Every single one of our officers now has an M4 platform system which is comparable to the AR 15 and the necessary rounds to make sure that we're going to be successful eliminating this threat," said Tony.

The sheriff said for real impact, the laws need to be changed.

"I've heard this narrative for years now that, well, the AR 15 is a sport weapon, it's a match weapon, you can use it for all of these things. No, it's a combat ready weapon designed to destroy," he said.

Tony pointed out that the sheriff's office has a full time SWAT team that can respond quickly. He added that law enforcement has access to 16,000 live cameras in Broward County schools, so if there is a situation on campus they have eyes on it as they respond.  

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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