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Guest speaker talks to Lee County officers about school safety protocol

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 17:19:37-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Thursday morning, law enforcement officers gathered at Bishop Verot High School’s auditorium to talk about school safety, specifically the actions law enforcement should take in the event of an active shooter on campus.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office had retired police chief of Coral Springs, Tony Pustizzi, who was the acting police chief of the department who responded to the Parkland shooting as a guest speaker. With a presentation, he took the deputies through different details of what happened that day.

Chief Pustizzi not only recalled those events, but he said in order to understand why they have presentations like this, Pustizzi says you have to go back to the paradigm shifts in law enforcement, "You have to go back to Columbine, in 1999. That's where there was a shift in law enforcement and again at Parkland," Pustizzi said.

Pustizzi, asked the federal government to step it up - and added that this is a nationwide issue, "There are things we need to do as a country. Law enforcement needs to prepare for it, but we need the tools."

In his presentation, the retired chief went through protective measures schools, including those in Lee County, should take. For example, strengthening the glass on classroom doors.

"I’m telling you that the things I lined out earlier could probably save 30% of the school shootings from happening," Pustizzi said. "We just have to get it done."

Sheriff Carmine Marceno said lessons from Thursday helped to prepare deputies for anything they might deal with.

"While everybody else runs away from an event, you signed up to go into it without hesitation and I'm confident, with 100% certainty, that my officers trained that way," Marceno said.