Our mission is help make Florida’s schools and workplaces among the safest in the nation by identifying and sharing best practices, providing resources and tools, and advocating for smart public policy solutions in Tallahassee and across the state.
As Floridians know all too well, our great state has been tragically impacted by the wave of mass shootings that have plagued our nation in recent years. From the Pulse Nightclub to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, from the Fort Lauderdale Airport and the online gaming convention in Jacksonville, to the more recent bank shooting in Sebring, these are stark reminders that leave unanswered questions about what more can be done to make schools and workplaces safer.
That is the essential question that the Institute for a Safer Florida was formed to answer. The institute, which was initially created by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to identifying and pursuing best practices and policies that will help make Florida’s schools and workplaces among the safest in the nation. We will draw on the expertise and advice from stakeholders across this important discussion – such as business leaders, educators, public policy makers, healthcare professionals (including mental health), social services agencies and public safety professionals – to serve as a clearinghouse for resources and tools that workplaces and schools can use to enhance safety.
The institute supports common-sense policies and solutions that result in Florida’s classrooms, businesses, and communities being made safer. We applaud Senate President Bill Galvano, House Speaker Jose Oliva and former Governor Rick Scott for their leadership leading to the March 2018 passage and signing of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which included important statewide initiatives related to mental health, firearms safety, school safety and related funding.
Looking ahead, the Institute is focusing on the substantial middle ground where we can and must reach consensus. By coming together and building on steps already taken, we can help ensure that millions of Floridians can earn a paycheck each day, focus on their studies in classrooms, and move about their community knowing that their safety and well-being are the highest priority.
The Institute advocates for safer workplaces by:
- Sharing best practices for personal and officer security.
- Ensuring businesses have a voice in major policy debates involving workplace safety.
- Developing active shooter and other safety training for Florida businesses.
The Institute advocates for safer schools by:
- Strengthening communication between educators, mental health professionals and law enforcement on potentially threatening individuals.
- Assuring Florida is utilizing best practices for school and classroom design.
- Supporting qualified security personnel at every school.
The Institute advocates for adequate mental health support to Floridians by:
- Working with mental health professionals to identify best practices and programs for students or employees.
- Supporting mental health initiatives and education for businesses as well as teachers.
- Advocating for mental health programs and funding that make workplaces and schools safer.
The Institute advocates for public safety initiatives that help protect workplaces and schools by:
- Partnering with law enforcement and first responders on training programs for businesses and educators.
- Supporting public policy initiatives and funding that make workplaces and schools safer, including defending the Galvano-Oliva legislation resulting from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas killings, as well as championing property rights.
- Identifying additional areas where employers and schools can work more closely to reduce risks.