FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.: Far from shrinking in the face of danger, former Broward sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson once characterized himself as a proactive officer who quickly responded to reports of trouble.

Peterson, 54, resigned on Thursday after withering public criticism from Sheriff Scott Israel, who said the deputy should have confronted and killed the gunman who fatally shot 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

But in a 2015 video, Peterson is shown defending his own performance and his colleagues as he sought to persuade school officials to retain a program known as the Resident on Campus Security Program.

“These colleagues work hard,” he told one official who raised doubts about the program’s value. “We are crime prevention; an audit report will never show how much we prevent.”

In one example, Peterson mentioned an incident at Atlantic Technical College in Coconut Creek and described receiving a call about an alarm in the school’s cafeteria.

“As I got to the cafeteria, sure enough, there were four males inside the cafeteria. They saw me peeking through the glass, they obviously fled. I chased them, I’m getting older, but I started chasing them, I identified who I was and as ironic as it may seem, they ran right towards my trailer.

“So they ran past, jumped over the fence, I jumped into my car, I apprehended two of them … threw them in the back, kept going, grabbed the other two,” he said.

Peterson, a 30-year law enforcement veteran who started with the Broward Sheriff’s Office in July 1985, graduated with honors from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

For a performance review period ranging from February 2016 to February 2017, an evaluator concluded that Peterson either met or exceeded the expectations of his superiors in a variety of categories, including initiative, work performance, customer service, interpersonal skills, critical thinking/decision making, safety, planning and organizing, and policy and procedures.

“He values his position and takes pride in protecting the students, faculty and staff at his school,” wrote the evaluator, a sergeant. “Deputy Peterson is dependable and reliable and handles issues that arise with tact and solid judgment. He is a positive influence on the students and they respect and appreciate his position.”

One Stoneman Douglas teacher came to Peterson’s defense on Thursday, arguing that the 6-foot-5-inch officer could not have stopped former Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz’s deadly shooting spree.

“There is no one that is going to tell you a negative thing about Deputy Peterson,” said ninth-grade English teacher Felicia Burgin. “He was an Eagle, and he was committed to our school. I don’t know what he could have done other than literally died.”

Trump: ‘Poor job’

Donald Trump on Friday issued a strong rebuke from a president toward a local law officer.

“He trained his whole life,” Trump said at the White House, in response to reporters who noted Peterson did not stop the attack.

“When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn’t have the courage or something happened,” Trump added. “But he certainly did a poor job. There’s no question about that.”

The president added: “But that’s a case where somebody was outside, they’re trained, they didn’t act properly or under pressure or they were a coward,” Trump said. “It was a real shock to the police department.”

The Tribune Washington Bureau contributed to this report.