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Orange County leaders talk school safety post-Uvalde shooting

Photo: Sheriff John Mina, Superintendent Maria Vazquez
Photo: Sheriff John Mina, Superintendent Maria Vazquez

As a new school year gets underway, Orange County Public School officials and local police and sheriff’s departments say they’re keeping kids safe in the wake of Uvalde. 

Twenty-one people, 19 students and two teachers were killed after being shot at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas at the end of last school year.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina is now working to get the word out that OCPS is prepared. Mina says there are 196 school resource officers stationed throughout the district from his office alone. And that officers have access to over 6,000 cameras in school buildings in order to quickly respond to a crisis.

“I want our parents to hear this very clear message: that there is nothing that is more important to me, to us, in law enforcement than the safety of your children at their schools.”

Mina says school resource officers are trained to respond using a single deputy response strategy.

"And what that means is that they’re not waiting for backup, they’re not waiting for a supervisor. They’re certainly not waiting for a sheriff. When such a tragedy will occur, they’re trained to go in and end the threat immediately and save lives.”

The former Orlando police chief’s response to the Pulse shooting has been criticized for taking too long.

The same thing happened after Uvalde when it was revealed that armed officers waited in a school hallway for over an hour as the shooter continued to injure and kill students and teachers. 

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.