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Nine graduate from first School Guardian Program Program

The nine Gilchrist County School employees who completed the School Guardian program training were honored last Thursday, March 14, at The Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office.
The volunteers went through 144 hours of rigorous training conducted by the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Edwin Jenkins was the training coordinator, Lt. Todd Holley and Sgt. Mike Simpson were the instructors. Assistant State Attorney and GCSO Reserve Captain Robert Willis taught the Guardians the legal/ethics class. Bradford County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brad Witt and Sgt. Joe Shiller along with Capt. Ray Tremblay of the Chiefland Police Department assisted with the training.
The program included training with firearms, active shooter and discretionary shooting.
The nine completing the Guardian Program will remain nameless but the public should know that Guardians are scattered throughout the schools and the district office.
Mr. Ray Stoel, the School Safety Specialist, thanked the GCSO Officers for the Guardian training. Stoel said, “The guardian crew are better people because of you.”
Sheriff Schultz spoke of the nine weeks of training that Guardians have completed saying, “You are going to run to the fight.” He went on to say that they had been trained as if they were law enforcement officers. He also said that a second group will be entering the School Guardian training in a few months.
The graduation ended when each School Guardian received a certificate and a handgun.
Everyone attending the graduation then enjoyed a social time and the refreshments that were provided by GCSO.