By the end of February, another one will be manning a guard shack at at the school's entrance.
39-year-old Harold Verdecia, a former infantryman in the US army who completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, patrols the hallways of Manatee strapped with a 9mm Glock 19X and a Kel-Tec "Bullpup" rifle, according to the Herald Tribune.
Verdecia isn't there to get to know the kids, break up fights or do the typical community-policing that school resource officers typically do, said MSA Principal Bill Jones.
Verdecia has one job: Stop an active shooter. -Herald Tribune
"When seconds count, (Palmetto police) are only a few minutes away," says Principal Jones - who has gamed out the nightmare school shooter scenario in exacting detail. He's also justified Verdecia's use of a semi-automatic rifle instead of just a handgun.