POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Armed county employees are coming soon to Polk County government offices

County commissioners have approved what is called the "Workplace Marshal" program.

County commissioners started thinking about the idea after a disgruntled employee conducted a mass shooting in a Virginia Beach, Virginia government office in May. He killed 12 people and wounded several others. 

The county is hoping the employees who volunteer for the program could stop something similar from happening in Polk.

“I don’t know the statistics, but I do believe a lot of these have happened in gun-free zones and this will make someone think twice,” said commission chairman Bill Braswell.

The Workplace Marshals will be trained by the sheriff’s office. They have to undergo a psychological evaluation, a background check and 132 hours of training. They will also need a concealed carry permit. 

Not just any employee will be able to bring a gun to work.

“No, it’s not like that at all,” said Braswell.  “As a matter of fact, the sheriff said he expects most people who apply to not qualify.”

The sheriff’s office and county want the public to know that some employees will be armed.

“We want clearly and unequivocally for anyone who is thinking about being an active shooter to know there is well-trained people with firearms that will shoot you a lot,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.

Judd said some of the specifics will be kept discreet.  

“I just don’t want them to know where and who,” he said about the marshals to keep any potential shooters from knowing too much.​

The county manager is working out the details of the program so county employees can start signing up.