POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Polk County government employees may be able to bring concealed carry guns to work in the future.

  • Commissioner wants to arm county government employees 
  • Sheriff agrees that the idea could better protect residents 
  • Their staffs are working towards ideas 
  • MORE Polk County Headlines

A mass shooting that claimed 12 lives at a Virginia Beach government building in May is the incident prompting the idea. 

Commissioner John Hall said he hoped having armed employees might stop a similar incident in Polk.

“I think we need to have some kind of program akin to what the guardian program is," Hall said. “Where maybe everyone with a concealed carry permit does not carry a gun but that we have a program and involve the sheriff in that program.”

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he likes Commissioner Hall's program. He said workers would need to go through a screening and training program similar to the guardian program for schools.

He said his agency could be responsible for the program. 

Some people leaving the county administration building in Bartow seemed to like the idea. ​

“Like I said, not everybody that has a gun should be able to bring it with them, but that would be a good idea, the guardian program," resident Sandra Musick said.

“I agree with it,” said resident Carlos Morales. “I mean we have to keep ourselves safe with all the mass shootings.”

Both Commissioner Hall and Sheriff Judd said their staffs were working to coordinate a work session to talk over the guns at work idea.