LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) — Southeastern University and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office are partnering together for the first “Sentinel Program” in the state of Florida, in order to enhance safety for students, faculty, staff and guests of the campus, the Sheriff’s Office says.
The program authorizes and trains university employees to carry concealed firearms on campus.
The Sheriff’s Office says the purpose is to rapidly respond to an active assailant on campus.
Faculty and staff will be selected by the University for the program and screened by PCSO staff, including criminal background checks, drug testing, and a psychological evaluation. They will be required to complete 100 hours of firearm safety and proficiency training with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The firearms will be specifically purchased and issued for the sole purpose of the Sentinel Program. Only PCSO approved concealed carry safety holsters and firearms will be used in the program.
According to a United States Department of Justice study, between the years 2000 and 2013 there were 160 “active shooter” incidents in the US. “Active shooter” is defined as: “An individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area with a firearm.”