FHP troopers to help secure Stoneman Douglas campus

PARKLAND, FLA. (WSVN) - In the wake of recent security concerns at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, eight Florida Highway Patrol troopers will be assisting with security at the campus.

There have been concerns about the safety at the school ever since the Feb. 14 mass shooting that took 17 lives. Now, a new effort to address those concerns will begin Thursday morning.

“In response to my offer of assistance yesterday, [the Broward Sheriff’s Office] has spoken with FL Highway Patrol to request troopers,” Gov. Rick Scott wrote on Twitter. “I’ve directed these troopers to report for duty tomorrow morning to help secure entry points at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and keep students safe.”

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel welcomed the offer for additional resources, saying it will help ensure that all entrances and exits at school are secure.

That request came after several incidents at the school since the shooting – one involving BSO deputy Moises Carotti who reportedly fell asleep in his car while next to the building where 17 people were gunned down last month.

According to BSO, a sergeant patrolling the interior of the high school was told by a student that Carotti was asleep in his car. When the sergeant went to the vehicle and knocked on the window to get Carotti’s attention and saw he was asleep.

Carotti has since been suspended with pay while BSO investigates.

In a statement, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said: “Of all the schools in America, you would think this would be the safest one right now. This is so outrageous that it’s almost impossible to believe.”

“They place them here to be on alert and stuff like that, so I didn’t know he was that tired,” said student Darryl Verna. “It’s kind of funny to me because it’s crazy to be asleep like that because he’s supposed to be doing his job.”

Israel sent out a statement Wednesday morning saying BSO is thoroughly investigating Carotti’s conduct.

“Once the internal affairs findings are in, I will make the appropriate decisions regarding the way we are going to handle it and the level of discipline,” Israel said in the statement. “Every single deputy will be held accountable for his or her actions, and any failure to protect the public will not be tolerated.”

7News also spoke with the president of the BSO Union, who gave a statement on the matter.

“We’d like to, first off, apologize to everybody in Broward County if one of our members gave the impression that they may or may not be sleeping in their police car,” said BSO Union President Jeff Bell. “The accusation or the assumption that somebody may have been sleeping behind the wheel of the car does put another black eye on the sheriff’s office.”

Safety concerns also arose after Zachary Cruz, the brother of accused school shooter Nikolas Cruz, was arrested for trespassing onto the school’s campus. He is currently being held on $500,000 bond.

BSO has also filed a request under the”Red Flag law” against Zachary Cruz. The law, which is part of the state’s new gun safety legislation, gives the judge the option of keeping someone from getting a firearm.

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