Not long after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings some
people started saying we needed to place armed security officers at our schools..
That is a good question.. Should we spend the money to place officers on patrol in a school on the chance they might be in the right place to intervene when shooting starts? Not long after the Columbine shooting there was at least one report that the school resource officer assigned to the school was ordered, by school officials, to stay out of the building. This instruction was probably due to the policy, common at the time, to first secure the scene, of any possible hostage situation, and then decide if armed entry was required.. The result, in that case, was that law enforcement did not get into the building for some period of time, like up to 1 1/2 – 2 hours later, by which time the shooting had stopped, and the killing was done. This included the two shooters who killed THEMSELVES.. So, an armed guard at a school is useless if he can not be at the place where he is needed.
On his TV show Piers Morgan, arguing with a young lady about armed guards placed in a school, this was just after the Sandy Hook shooting, he argued that it would ensure a “firefight” that would further endanger the students. As if he preferred the shooter be the only one armed.. He refused to admit the possibility that being shot at might force the shooter to either retreat, get to cover, surrender, or just die.. Any of these situations would allow school personnel to get the students out of danger…
If you don’t agree that armed officers, or even private guards, should be at our schools keep this in mind.. On a timeline, published by CNN, it was reported that was a period of 20 minutes between the first phone call to 911 and the arrival, in force, of law enforcement. In that time the shooter had free rein to shoot his fill of children, and then kill himself. To be fair we might consider that the delay could have been caused by dispatchers thinking the first 911 call was a prank.. and maybe they did not want to dispatch a horde of law enforcement people to the school, and cause all sorts of confusion, if it was indeed a false alarm, or maybe they had to find the school on a map.. I don’t know.
In Manatee County Fl. there was the question of whether the school board could use Private Security for the schools, or if they had to use Sheriff’s Deputies… The school board, in the person of the Superintendent, stated they could get guards at 31, or 32, of the 33 schools, while with the Sheriff’s Department they would get 5 Resource officers to cover then same number of locations.. or 5 Deputies for 32 schools..
The Sheriff’s office countered that state law said that school resource officers must be “state certified” law enforcement officers, which would generally mean that they had to be employed by a law enforcement department, rather than a Private company.
Some will point to Florida, with the “Stand Your Ground” law and say we a trying to bring back the wild west but we don’t have nearly as many different Policing agencies as say New York City.. They have, at least, the NYPD, the Transit Authority, the Housing Authority, the Sanitation Police and until recently the ASPCA had armed Officers.
Should the School Boards have the authority to have it’s own policing agency? If we leave the security of the schools in the hands of, say the local Sheriff’s office, how often during a given day would they be called away in support of the road deputies.
Defenseless is not the same as protected.
That Joe Guy.