Deputies to carry rifles at Brevard County schools: 'We mean business'

In response to the recent school shootings around the country, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office announced that its school resource deputies will carry rifles on campus to help better protect children and staff.

"Over the course of the past several months, parents, teachers, students and communities across our country have all grown deeply concerned over school shootings, like the one in Uvalde, Texas," Sheriff Wayne Ivey said in a Facebook video. 

Ivey said that its agency has been working with various police departments to develop strategies to ensure the safety of everyone on a school campus. That means making Brevard schools "hard targets."

"So that anyone with evil in their heart will think twice about coming onto one of our campuses and trying to harm a child or one of our teachers."

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He went on to say, "Let me be very clear: you are not coming into my schools and killing our children. I firmly believe that if you do not meet violence with violence, you will be violently killed."

School resource deputies with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office will adopt a new style uniform with a tactical appearance "that clearly signifies we mean business when it comes to protecting our children."

In addition, deputies will also carry rifles on them. In past years, if there was an active shooter on campus with a rifle, resource deputies would have to go to their vehicles to retrieve their long guns, and then try to address the threat.

"This new style uniform and tactical preparedness gives our team members the advantage and ability to instantly address the threat with the level of force necessary to eliminate the shooter and save the lives of innocent children."

The new school year begins for Brevard County students on Wednesday.