Sheriff Chad Chronister continues to put student safety first with the addition of new shields and firearms for school resource deputies.
Starting in mid-November, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office received its first shipment of new ProTech Assault II VP shields to be used by school resource deputies in the case of an active shooter situation. Of the 300 ballistic shields purchased, 40 are now in the hands of deputies who started their training Thanksgiving week. The deputies learned to maneuver, and defend themselves and those around them with the 20 lb shields. The shields will allow deputies to approach dangerous situations where students, parents, and faculty's lives are at risk, and through protected visibility be able to protect human life. In the coming weeks, every school resource deputy will be issued a protective shield.
"When it comes to safeguarding the lives of the students at schools in Hillsborough County, we are preparing for every imaginable situation," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "We love our children, and these new shields will prepare our deputies in case there is ever an active shooter situation."
In addition, all School Resource Deputies (SRD) assigned to middle and high schools within unincorporated Hillsborough County will receive new equipment to respond effectively to an active threat at their school. Beginning November 21, 2022, each SRD will complete an intensive 3-day training program culminating in them being issued a B&T APC 9 pistol upon completion. This firearm has design features that offer the user increased accuracy and effectiveness over the standard-issued firearm.
"As we continue to study, learn, and adapt the hard lessons learned at school shootings in Florida and across the country, the new tools available to our school resource deputies will enable them to respond and neutralize a threat safely while protecting our precious children," said Sheriff Chronister.
Training will continue in the use of these new tools in the following weeks.