Sheriff Wayne Ivey Proposes ‘S.T.O.M.P’ Among Initiatives To Protect Brevard School Children

By  //  March 3, 2018

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S.T.O.M.P. will allow vetted and trained school volunteer personnel to carry concealed firearms on campus

SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Desmond Blackburn and Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey presented during a press conference last Monday their four-pronged initiative to protect Brevard County’s students, staff, volunteers and facilities.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Following the recent school tragedy in South Florida, Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Desmond Blackburn and Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey met last week to further develop a sound strategy to protect Brevard County’s students, staff, volunteers and facilities.


Among the four-pronged approach, Sheriff Ivey and Dr. Blackburn have recommended the “Sheriff Trained Onsight Marshal Program” (S.T.O.M.P.), which will arm properly vetted and trained school volunteer personnel to carry concealed firearms on campus.

“This initiative is an opportunity to provide school staffing, who volunteer, to receive specialized training so that they may carry a concealed firearm on school campuses,” said Sheriff Ivey.

“That is if they choose to do so, and complete the required training. Our school staff is accomplishing amazing feats daily, and are already overwhelmed with their primary function of preparing our students to become successful citizens. However, this concept will provide an extra level of security where threats will have no idea who is armed and who is prepared to protect themselves and others. I am now prepared to respectfully present a request to our School Board members to consider and vote to support this new initiative.

“There is no doubt this concept will have its doubters, but such criticism will not deter me, Dr. Blackburn or our School Board members from considering everything possible to protect our most precious of citizens, our children. This initiative will utilize only those Administrators and Staff who volunteer to become that extra level of response, Special Deputy Sheriffs through a program that will be facilitated through our agency.

“The volunteers will be highly vetted based on background, life experience and prior Law Enforcement/Military Service experience. Those who successfully complete the vetting and specialized training will be legally authorized to be armed on campus. Their service in this capacity is truly an accomplishment, as they will perform in the same important education role with absolutely no difference or expectation other than be prepared to protect themselves and others if that time should ever arise.

“Again, each volunteer will have undergone extensive and specialized training and received a certification that will be provided by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. This program is very similar in nature and substance to the program established universally by airlines and the Federal Government to allow pilots to be armed in an effort to better protect passengers if the need should ever arise.

“I personally believe that in order to do everything possible to protect our children we have to give those that are already there when the fight starts, the chance to actively engage, if they choose, with the tools necessary to possible change the outcome. This measure is highly supported by our State Legislature, and in my opinion, serves two purposes… Making sure that anyone thinking about shooting up one of our schools will now know that there are people on campus who are armed and ready to defend our students versus having the ability to walk into an advertised “gun free” area that they can and has been exploited. Lastly, to make sure that when seconds count, someone trained to stop the threat is already in place to respond rather than on the other side of the campus or even worse minutes away.

Dr. Blackburn said this is a partnership strategy for protecting BPS students and staff and that is what students, staff and parents expect and deserve.

“Keep in mind that this is a very fluid and evolving strategy concept that will need to be flexible in some areas and extremely firm in others, but with the unified support of our Superintendent, our School Board, our Legislature and our Governor, the solution to the protection of our schools is a reality,” said Sheriff Ivey.

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Sheriff Ivey said that the four-pronged strategy includes an Education and Awareness Campaign to make sure that everyone on a school campus knows exactly what to do in the event of a critical incident.

Dr. Blackburn said this initiative also includes the furtherance of Hardening Campuses, an initiative he authorized long before the recent school shooting in South Florida and an initiative that was made possible in part because of the 1/2 Cent Sales Tax funding.

“In addition to those two initiatives, we are also implementing two additional dimensions as part of our strategy that will make certain that our schools are no longer “easy targets” where “would be” perpetrators can openly shoot at children without fear of being shot themselves,” said Sheriff Ivey.

“I am sick and tired of seeing in the news where a terrorist, a person with mental health issues or just anall-outt idiot can target our children and not have to worry about an armed Law Enforcement Officer standing guard over our children, or a specially trained staff member prepared to engage a threat.”

Dr. Blackburn said the focus in the Education and awareness approach will mandate Active Shooter Training for all of 82 of schools including teachers, staff and students.

“Through this approach, we will ensure that each member of staff receives training in the 4 A’s of Survival so that they know exactly what to do during a critical incident, said Dr. Blackburn.

“In addition, in partnership with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, we will immediately develop and implement a video-based training for all students and staff in response to Active Shooters as well as exercises and drills that will be done quarterly at each school in our community.”

Sheriff Ivey Ivey said they will also work closely with Crime Line and School Resource Officers to enhance “Operation Speakout,” which is an anonymous program that allows students to alert Law Enforcement to potential safety issues and concerns.

“The program is provided to local Law Enforcement Agencies free of charge and we plan to take full advantage of it,” said Sheriff Ivey.

The final component in the Education and Awareness area is a new program that has been in the works for the past few months in an immediate partnership with BPS and BCSO.

“For years our Alternative Learning Center has been utilized as babysitting program for students with behavior problems and other disruptive issues,” said Dr. Blackburn.

“Our unique program was implemented this past August for students who meet the criteria to be reassigned to the Alternative Learning Center will now be part of the “Success Through Awareness and Restoration Program” or (S.T.A.R.).”

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This one-of-a-kind program was uniquely designed to not only enhance the academic delivery of students assigned to the program but also serves to provide a foundation of discipline, self-esteem.

“The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has fully committed personnel to this program who will work to help students better develop learning and behavior skills through reinforcement and discipline,” said Sheriff Ivey.

“We are extremely proud of this new initiative and of our partnership with the staff at the Alternative Learning Center who worked hand in hand with our team to develop the curriculum foundation based upon previous failures and accomplishments.”

In addition to the Sheriff’s commitment, a grant was secured to further the student development needs and ensure that the students’ progress and return as positive members of our student population. The program allows BPS staff and Sheriff’s Deputies to evaluate and identify the actual problems, whether they be behavior, mental health or family dynamics, and get them the help that is needed rather than eventually removing them from the structure and support that is needed.

Previously, they were considered behavior issues and were removed from the school system where they have a greater opportunity to be involved in crime and never reach their potential as a successful citizen.

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This initiative will focus on the Hardening of our campuses throughout Brevard County. Dr. Blackburn said that the overwhelming majority of this initiative was already in the process of being implemented, however, it is a significant and critical part of the overall strategy to protect schools.

“When we use the term “Hardening” what we are actually discussing is the ability to discontinue the perception and reality that our schools are a soft target, but instead, we will have a hard target design that serves two purposes,” said Sheriff Ivey.

“The first is the appearance of not being an easy threat free opportunity and the second is making sure that anyone who plans to try and target students have to penetrate an overwhelming amount of security features and measures to commit their crime. There is no doubt, these locations were specifically chosen because they are easy targets with victims who cannot defend themselves. Not anymore!”

Dr. Blackburn said the plan is to will continue to establish a fencing barrier at all schools, which will create “Single Points of Entry” that are a proven tool in combating various issues and assaults on campuses.

“In addition, we are installing monitored access controls on each and every campus that not only provide video recordings of incidents but also put the would-be attacker on notice that every cowardly action is being monitored and recorded in both in the school and District Security,” said Dr. Blackburn.

Sheriff Ivey said that measures in the area of Hardened School Environment is the “Strategic Response Plan” that was developed for each school following the school shooting in Sandy Hook.

“As a result of that incident, our School Security Team in concert with our SWAT Commanders from the various law enforcement agencies in Brevard County, have created and cataloged Strategic Response Plans for each school and its unique design and security dynamics,” said Sheriff Ivey.

Dr. Blackburn said that BPS wants to make sure that they have the potential to provide a locking mechanism for each and every door and classroom in the schools to keep the unwanted out.

“We are currently looking at different types of measures that will offer the kind of locking features that best accomplish the mission, as our overall plan is to eliminate access at all levels,” said Dr. Blackburn.

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BCSO and BPS will work in partnership with Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature’s new initiative to place a Deputy Sheriff in every school in Brevard County.

“Governor Scott and our Legislatures agree with my philosophy that it’s time to put our money where our children are and place at least one Uniformed Law Enforcement Officer in every school so that our children and our teachers are assured that they are in the safest environment possible to learn and play,” said Sheriff Ivey.

“The formula will be one deputy for every 1,000 students, so some schools will have more than one.”

Dr. Blackburn said that this part of the security initiative has already been implemented by him, BCSO and BPS School Board members.

“In an effort to expedite our move in that direction, long before the shooting last week, we identified funding in our budget to add an additional seven Deputies to our schools this year alone, and are truly impressed with the Governor’s leadership to ensure that the state will be providing payment in the future for every school to have at least one Deputy Sheriff in every school,” said Blackburn.

“Sheriff Ivey and our local Police Chiefs had already elevated the presence of deputies and officers at our schools and related functions. This measure places more law enforcement at each school as a visibility and deterrent measure as the other aspects of our strategy can be fully implemented.”

Following the recent school tragedy in South Florida, Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Desmond Blackburn and Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey met to further a sound strategy to protect Brevard County’s students, staff, volunteers and facilities.