DeLand, FL - The response was large. The job posting is closed.
Now, it's up to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office and Volusia County Schools to choose who will become the school district's first armed campus guardians.
Around 180 applications have been received from people wanting to work in the Volusia County Schools Guardian Program, which was created recently by the Volusia County School Board as a cost-effective means to have daily armed security at elementary school campuses versus hiring actual deputies.
The training these guardians will face is very similar to what sworn law enforcement go through, but these guardians won't have badges or arrest powers, according to VCSO spokesman Andrew Gant.
"Through the initial vetting process, approximately 50 of those applicants did not meet the minimum requirements and standards set by the School Board," Gant added. "The remaining 130 applicants will be subject to interviews in the coming days and weeks."
Job hopefuls will meet with school district and VCSO personnel before they can move through to training. The first class is scheduled to begin July 2.
"Candidates who are selected to move forward out of the initial interviews will enter a second phase that includes fingerprinting and drug screening tests as well as completion of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office supplemental application for employment," Gant noted. "VCSO Internal Affairs will be compiling a list of candidates to conduct background checks."
Those background checks include a polygraph test, a character reference check and a psychological examination.
At least 44 of those positions have to be filled with trained people before school begins August 13th. That's why there will be at least two training classes during the month of July, per Gant.
VCS and VCSO are teaming up to purchase all the needed equipment for the guardians, including the guns, ammunition and body armor.