Pinellas sheriff to lead Parkland review commission

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualiteri will lead the commission looking into the law enforcement response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

It’s part of the legislation signed in the aftermath of the February 14 massacre.

There will be some pressure on this commission to try and come up with solutions and ideas to prevent something like Parkland from happening again.

The sheriff says he owes it to the victims to figure it all out.

In the weeks since the shooting, critical issues still lack solid responses. From the many missed warning signs about the shooter called in to multiple agencies to possible tactical errors the day of the shooting, there are many angles to observe.

“It’s a very big picture review a totality of the circumstances,” Gualtieri explained.

He will lead the state commission tasked with finding the tough answers and hopefully, preventing another Parkland.

“It’s a lot of comprehensive review looking all the way back in history, to the time of the event and looking forward and trying to bring solutions to the table,” he said.

Joining him are fellow law enforcement officers, education officials, state leaders, and family of the victims. 

The commission will have subpoena power, meaning it can review documents and compel witnesses to give their accounts. 

“I really feel for the families and kids and people that lost their lives and I think we owe it to them to make sure we figure this out,” the sheriff said.

An initial report is required in a year. The sheriff says he hopes to get things up and running soon and does expect future hearings to include comments from the public.

“The weight to me is to try and find out what happened and try and prevent it in the future and do the best we can with that,” he said.

Sheriff Gualtieri said it was too soon to say whether the commission would interview former deputy Scott Peterson, who reportedly stayed outside the building while the shooting took place.

There are also a few others from our area on that commission, including Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.