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Palm Beach County School Board cuts ties with security guard training program

WPTV classroom generic
Posted at 3:35 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 21:18:18-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The Palm Beach County School Board voted Wednesday to end its contract with the private security firm Invictus Security of Boynton Beach, which was tasked with training security guards at charter schools in the county.

School board members also voted to sue Invictus to recover the $77,000 that was spent on the training.

Invictus was cited by the Board for breach of contract after a sheriff’s inquiry found the training didn’t meet all state standards.

A Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office investigation recently found the Invictus training program does not comply with Florida law.

Earlier this month the state’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas Safety Commission objected to the hiring of a private firm to train guards, saying it went against the spirit of a new state law.

Invictus’ owner told the School Board the blame was on them.

"It was the school board that solicited Invictus to provide a proposal for services without ever providing Invictus with a request for proposal or any formal guidance or scope of work,” Miller said during the special meeting.

Miller said it was up to him to map out a training program for the guards.

The Palm Beach County School District paid out over $77,000 to Invictus for the training, according to a district spokesperson.

The guards are now being retrained by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Last week, PBSO put out a summary of its findings and uncovered the following about Invictus, a private training provider in Boca Raton:

  • The Invictus lead instructor did not have active certification as required by Florida law
  • Invictus passed students' firearms qualifications training with scores of 80 percent, when state law requires 85 percent
  • A total of five students failed the firearms qualification portion of training, all which Invictus documents as passing the firearms qualification.
  • The training failed to include a nighttime (low light) firearms qualification

Palm Beach County School District officials said 27 guards-in-training, who received almost 200 hours of training at Invictus, are now going through new training through the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

In the meantime, deputies will be put at all the charter schools where Invictus-trained security guards were stationed.