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Charter guard training falls short

Posted at 12:06 AM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 00:06:37-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office investigation has determined a training program for security guards in county charter schools does not comply with Florida law, according to PBSO and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission.

Late Wednesday 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%, when state law requires 85%
  • 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 nighttime (low light) firearms qualification

The investigation recommended the Invictus School Security Guard Training Program be "discontinued as it fails to meet the statutorily required guidelines listed in the Florida State Statutes.”
“We’re digesting it. So, our first question was how are we going to continue to provide security for all the teachers, staff members and students in the district,” said School District Chief of Staff Edward Tierney.

The head of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission says Sheriff Bradshaw will start a class for the officers previously trained by Invictus that will begin Monday the 26th. Sheriffs deputies will be at all the charter schools where Invictus-trained security guards were to be placed on campus.

Tierney said 27 guards-in-training, who received almost 200 hours of training at Invictus, will go to the new training program. “When [Bradshaw] is satisfied, they will be deployed to schools, not before,” Tierney said.

Tierney also stressed that the security measures that have already been in place for the beginning of the school year do meet state standards.

“We have sworn officers on every campus, district-operated and charter, and that will remain in place until we have security guards trained up to the standard, which will be certified by the sheriff so we’re in full compliance with the law and we’re doing what we can to ensure the safety of students and staff.”

WPTV has reached out to Invictus but we haven't heard back yet.