Sheriff Deputizes University Professors so They Can Carry on Campus for Self-Defense

Ohio State University student Evan Peck, from Strongsville, Ohio, wears an empty holster on his hip Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2007, to show support for National Coalition for Concealed Carry on Campus Week. Students planned to protest laws that ban concealed weapons on campuses. (AP Photo/Columbus Dispatch, Tom Dodge)
AP Photo/Columbus Dispatch, Tom Dodge

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is training faculty of Lakeland, Florida’s Southeastern University to carry concealed weapons for self-defense and is deputizing them to get around the state’s ban on campus carry.

The state’s ban allows law enforcement–including sheriff’s deputies–to carry on campus.

NRATV’s Ginny Simone reports that the program is the first of its kind, and one that comes in the wake of the heinous attack on Republican lawmakers in Alexandria, Virginia.

Polk County Sheriff Grady said he “will swear in the staff as special deputies, giving them the authorities [to possess firearms] when every second counts.” Judd added, “I’m not going to sit on my hands, here in this office, while people die if I can prevent it with special deputy sheriffs; instructors and staff that are highly trained and ready to save lives.”

Southeastern University Exec. V.P. Chris Owen said, “The number one question asked by parents, when visiting our university, was about safety. Every year, every time, [they asked] ‘What are you doing to keep our students safe when they come?’ You take those questions mixed the newsreels that keep coming in of the senseless violence [and] this was a no-brainer for us.”

Southeastern University President Kent Ingle said there are people who want to completely remove guns from campus, but he stressed that such a move creates a situation where the only response to an armed attacker is to attempt to reason with him or her. Ingle said reasoning with such people is not viable. Rather, “[if] they have a gun, the only way you’re going to stop them is if you have a gun.”

Sheriff Grady calls the special deputizing program the Sentinel Program because the armed professors and staff “are the watchmen; they are on point. Called to service [and] willing to lay their life down to protect the students.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at