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Bay County Sheriff responds to deadly Texas elementary school shooting

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 10:47 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The effects of the deadliest school shooting in Texas history can be felt all the way in Bay County.

“As a father, it’s heart wrenching. As a cop, it’s heart wrenching,” Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said.

Ford took to Facebook saying he is “angry” and “heartbroken” for the 19 students and two teachers killed in Uvalde.

“An act of absolute cowardice by somebody that doesn’t even deserve to have their name mentioned,” said Ford.

Ford said Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary was a replay of memories from a similar situation four years ago.

“The thing that had the most effect on me in my time as sheriff so far is school safety after the Parkland situation,” said Ford.

That’s why he said school safety is his number one priority in bay district schools.

“We have a school resource deputy at every high school and middle school. The district has a sworn law enforcement officer at every elementary school. So, we have good coverage with that,” said Ford.

Coverage that continues through the school guard system.

“Which is an alerting system that teachers can alert of an active shooter through their phone. It comes to every law enforcement officer’s phone, whether they’re on or off duty and are able to respond quicker than a 911 call,” said Ford.

Ford said Bay District Schools was one of the first districts in the state to adopt the Guardian Program as it was originally written.

“Every year we train teachers and administrators in a six-week course to be armed in the schools and be prepared to respond to that type of situation. They actually have to perform better than a deputy coming out of the academy in order to pass the Guardian Program,” said Ford.

Ford said they will do everything in their power to protect your children.

“They’re our most precious resource in Bay County and we work to prevent, and prepare to respond to those situations,” said Ford.

A situation Ford said he prays never happens here.

Ford said they also added extra resources at Bay District Schools Wednesday to offer peace of mind to students and parents.

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