BREAKING: Sarasota County Sheriff to use retired military, LEOs in school security program

In a press release, Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight just announced plans to use retired law enforcement officers and military veterans in his new “quasi-school security program.”

“We have been looking at opportunities over the last two years to help school officials develop a practical and achievable safety plan for the district,” Sheriff Knight said in the release. “My recommendation is for the school to consider implementing a quasi-school security program that puts retired law enforcement and military veterans on Sarasota County campuses. Members would be contracted through the schools however, our agency will be made available to put them through the proper training. I have spoken with the superintendent who agrees this can be a win-win for everyone.”

In my humble opinion, this is a great move by the sheriff and the school district.

A column I published just this morning recommended protecting our schools with our highly trained veterans.

“This is not an overnight solution but it’s a good place to start,” said Sheriff Knight. “Many of these veterans have basic training, have managed major incidents and have knowledge of weaponry and tactics. More often than not, these retirees are looking for a way to care for the children in their community and this program is a sustainable solution. What is needed to get this off the ground is legislative change to F.S.S. 790 dealing with concealed weapons on school campuses. If our lawmakers are willing to make the proper changes for the safety of Florida students, I will support their decision and stand ready to take action.”

This, friends, is a great move.



About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. Well, this is the first plan I have seen that would tangibly threaten School Gun Free Zones/Mass Shooter Sanctuary Zones…the media will undoubtedly work overtime to spike the story.

  2. YES! This is the approach I have advocated in e-mails to Rep. Greg Steube. Change the law, put in place a proper training program and protect our schools. Also see what Sheriff Grady Judd is doing in Polk County.

  3. I support the Sheriff and praise him for taking the steps that are needed. May all the other Sheriffs throughout the country follow

  4. Gary VanKleeck on

    I agragree with the sheriff. I am a retired police chief from NY and I have been saying this for years. Lots a retired LEO out there that are still very productive and can help in this situation. Lots of us have been in many situations of high stress incidents so we know what must be done and how to handle these situations.

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  6. Iam a retired DC POLICE OFFICER, 27 yrs. Just this past year. And served in the Marine Corps. Say when and where, and i would be honored to protect our citizen’s and children from these acts of violence. I stand behind the Sheriff’s idea.

  7. Seems like the school districts would also look at security already employed with each district . ive been employed 19 years in the lee district 7 years as a disciplinarian and 11 years as security with a class d and a ccw ive stopped no telling how many instances of this sort from happening and went head on twards someone trying to enter our middle school after they had performed armed home invasions in the neighborhood while being chased by officers . and im willing to get the g liscense . hopefully the school districts will look into and utilize the resources they seem to be overlooking .

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