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Rural County Summit to spotlight violence against children

Key law enforcement figures involved with some of America’s most horrific acts of violence over the past several years are among the high-profile speakers to be featured at a major law enforcement summit next week.

The seventh annual Rural County Summit is June 26-28 at the Florida Public Safety Institute Conference Center, 75 College Drive, Havana. This year’s summit, which is expected to draw law enforcement and other officials from around Florida and the Southeastern U.S., focuses on “Violence Against Children in a Modern Society,” according to organizers.

Keynote speakers include Pinellas County Sheriff Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who chaired the “Marjory Stoneman Douglas Commission” inquiry into the notorious Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting that claimed the lives of 17 students and staff last year in Parkland, Florida.

Also on the schedule is a presentation by School Resource Officer WIlliam Chapman of the Newtown, Connecticut Police Department. Chapman was stationed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children and six adult staff members, before committing suicide as first responders arrived.

Numerous other high-profile figures from around the U.S. are on the Rural County Summit lineup, each presenting unique insights into violence against children, according to summit organizers. Topics of discussion include safe schools, the modern dangers faced by children through technology and mental and social stress among youth, which experts say is at an  all-time high.

“The Rural County Summit is designed to give our leaders in the community the best opportunity to be successful in the most tragic situations,” organizers said in a statement. “This year, the Rural Summit is focusing on our children’s safety. Our children deserve to have the most informed and prepared leaders possible as we struggle to keep them safe in this changing society.”

Registration is required to attend. Email to register or for more information.

– Brian Dekle