Marjory Stoneman Douglas by Sharon Aron Baron

By: Chris Brunner

The next Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission meeting will be held on April 24, and the public is welcome to attend. 

The MSD Public Safety Commission was created during the 2018 legislative session to provide a comprehensive approach to identifying and addressing issues that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Specifically,  to analyze information from the school shooting and other mass violence incidents in the state and address recommendations and system improvements.  

Governor Scott’s appointees are:

Sheriff Larry Ashley, of Okaloosa, is the Okaloosa County Sheriff.  Sheriff Ashley has nearly thirty years of law enforcement experience and has earned numerous awards and commendations during his career. He participated in the Governor’s emergency meetings to help develop the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.

Superintendent Desmond Blackburn, Ph.D., of Brevard County is the Superintendent of Brevard Public Schools. He previously served as a teacher, principal, district trainer, director of school improvement, an area superintendent, and as the chief school performance and accountability office for the Broward County School District. Superintendent Blackburn participated in the Governor’s emergency meetings to help develop the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.

Chief Kevin Lystad, of Miami Shores, is the Chief of the Miami Shores Police Department. He is the President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. Chief Lystad will serve as Vice Chair of the Commission.

Ryan Petty, of Parkland, is the father of Alaina Petty, who was murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He played an integral role in ensuring the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act moved through the Florida Legislature.

Andrew Pollack, of Parkland, is the father of Meadow Pollack, who was murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Following the shooting, Pollack met with local, state, and federal officials, including Governor Scott, to help create a plan to keep our schools safe.

In addition, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen will serve as a member of the commission, and the following members shall serve as ex officio members:

  • Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart
  • Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll
  • Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christina Daly
  • Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Justin Senior

Senate President Negron’s appointees are:

State Senator Lauren Book, M.S. Ed, is an internationally respected and renowned child advocate, former classroom teacher and best-selling author. In 2016, she was elected to represent State Senate District 32, which includes portions of Broward County.

Douglas Dodd is a member of the Citrus County School Board. He served in the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office for over 26 years, retiring as a captain. During his career in law enforcement, Mr. Dodd served as a school resource officer for ten years.

James Harpring is the undersheriff for Indian River County and serves as general counsel to the Sheriff’s Department. He also works as an adjunct professor at Indian River State College and as an instructor at the Treasure Coast Law Enforcement Academy.

Melissa Larkin-Skinner, MA, LMHC, is the Chief Executive Officer at Centerstone Florida. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, she has nearly 25 years of experience in mental health and addictions treatment programs including hospital, outpatient, crisis, community based, forensic and child welfare services.

Marsha Powers is a member of the Martin County School Board. She was elected to the School Board in 2012 and  subsequently re-elected.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s appointees are:

Max Schachter is the father of Alex Schachter, who was murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Schachter advocated for school safety improvements and urged members of the Florida Legislature to enact effective legislation.

Sheriff Grady Judd is the Sheriff of Polk County. Prior to becoming Sheriff in 2004, Sheriff Judd graduated from the FBI National Academy, as well as several other prestigious law enforcement academies, and taught 23 years at both the University of South Florida and Florida Southern College.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is the Sheriff of Pinellas County and has served with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office for 35 years. Sheriff Gualtieri also serves on the board of directors for the Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA), the Major County Sheriff’s Association (MCSA) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Suncoast.

Chief Asst. State Attorney Mr. Bruce Bartlett – Serving in the State Attorney’s Office for over 22 years, Mr. Bartlett has prosecuted or taken part in the prosecutions of some of Pinellas’ most notorious criminals.  He has practiced since 1979 and is a graduate of  Stetson University College of Law.

Chief Chris Nelson currently serves as the Chief of Police for the City of Auburndale, a position he has held since 2012. A graduate of Bartow High School, he started his law enforcement career as a patrol officer with the Bartow Police Department.

The meeting is Tuesday, April 24, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Broward College North Campus 1000 Coconut Creek Blvd Coconut Creek FL. Submit public input or comments here. fdle.state.fl.us/MSDHS/PublicComments

Chris has been a contributing writer at Tamarac Talk and Coral Springs Talk since 2015 and begin in high school. He is a resident of Coral Springs and is currently attending college as well as working at Parkland Talk.

Please follow and like us:
2