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Private security firm defends school training after criticism from Stoneman Douglas Commission

Posted: 4:37 AM, Aug 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-19 04:38:54-04
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BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The owner of the firm that is training private security guards for Palm Beach County charter schools says he has no doubts his guards are ready to protect students.

“I believe it's politics. I’m not a politician. I’m a subcontractor. I’m doing what’s best for our schools for providing top-tier training,” says Patrick Miller, owner of Invictus Security in Boynton Beach.

On Wednesday, members of the state’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission were critical of the hiring of the firm and not utilizing a new state-funded guardian program where volunteers are trained by the sheriff.

Palm Beach County Schools in a statement stated, “The District's plan, throughout the spring and summer of 2019, was to be in full compliance, regarding the safety of students and staff members at all of our public school, by the first day of the 2019-2020 school year.”

Miller, a Marine veteran, says his training program matches the state's guardian program of 144 hours of training, including psychological and drug testing and weapons skills, and his classes can have as much as a 40 percent failure rate.

“We’re not working with civilians working in the school. We’re working with armed security professionals that have military and law enforcement background,” Miller says.

On Thursday, Miller says he met with officials at the sheriff’s office to discuss his training program.

The Palm Beach County sheriff is expected to determine if the privately-trained guards meet state guardian standards.