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Armed Officers at Schools? Done: In Fall River, MA per Mayor's Orders

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Vantage, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Vantage

    Vantage Pacific Standard Time Active Member

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    "After the Sandy Hook shooting, Mayor William A. Flanagan of Fall River decided to station armed police officers at each of the city’s 16 schools, an effort that he said costs $2,500 per day, or about $165 per school.

    It is a price Flanagan said he is willing to pay if it deters poten*tial copycats and gives comfort to parents who told him they are fearful for their children after the Connecticut tragedy. Before the police were assigned to each school, he said, some parents had decided to keep their children at home.

    “Seeing that police officer has given some peace of mind and comfort,” Flanagan said. “It has the effect of reducing fear and discomfort that our parents may have, and it also acts as a deterrent.”

    Flanagan said the police officers will be stationed at each school while officials review school safety procedures and emergency protocol. Down the line, Flanagan said, he will consult with the school superintendent and the police chief to *assess whether the police detail continues to be necessary."


    Mass. officials wary of NRA call for armed guards at all schools - News - Boston.com

    Mass. officials wary of NRA call for armed guards at all schools

    Many Massachusetts officials are wary of a declaration by the National Rifle Association that armed guards should be stationed at all schools following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    “I’m not so sure that armed guards at this point would be considered to be appropriate,” said Paul Andrews, director of professional development and government services at the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents. “We’re trying to maintain a learning atmosphere in a school and not make it into an armed facility.”

    Since the shootings in Newtown, Conn., schools around the country have grappled with what steps to take to ensure the safety of their students.

    At a press conference in Washington, NRA executive vice president Wayne *LaPierre advocated Friday that those steps should include placing armed guards at every school in the country. “Do it now to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in January,” he said.

    But that declaration was met with disapproval by *officials in Boston, including Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

    “There is an outpouring of voices demanding real change to make our communities safer; clearly, the NRA’s leadership is not one of them,” Menino said in a statement. “What they *announced today is not a plan, but a ploy to bring more guns into our neighborhoods.”

    Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said taking the step advocated by the NRA would be a “a foolhardy move.”

    “It’s not feasible, and I think it’s totally ridiculous,” Davis said. “They have this vision of America as a Wild West town where everyone carries a sidearm. They’re not talking sense.”

    Currently, the Boston School Department employs a team of 75 unarmed police officers to manage security at schools. The Boston Police Department supplements that force with an armed school police unit — composed of 13 officers, three detectives, and one supervisor — that provides additional assis*tance when problems arise.

    After the Newtown shootings, Davis said, he and Menino discussed the possibility of placing an armed officer at each school but ultimately deemed the option unacceptable.

    “The superintendent and mayor don’t believe more guns are the answer,” said Matthew Wilder, a School Department spokesman. “We believe our schools are safe places.”

    Others, however, disagree. After the Sandy Hook shooting, Mayor William A. Flanagan of Fall River decided to station armed police officers at each of the city’s 16 schools, an effort that he said costs $2,500 per day, or about $165 per school.

    It is a price Flanagan said he is willing to pay if it deters poten*tial copycats and gives comfort to parents who told him they are fearful for their children after the Connecticut tragedy. Before the police were assigned to each school, he said, some parents had decided to keep their children at home.

    “Seeing that police officer has given some peace of mind and comfort,” Flanagan said. “It has the effect of reducing fear and discomfort that our parents may have, and it also acts as a deterrent.”

    Flanagan said the police officers will be stationed at each school while officials review school safety procedures and emergency protocol. Down the line, Flanagan said, he will consult with the school superintendent and the police chief to *assess whether the police detail continues to be necessary.

    Flanagan declined to comment on the NRA’s announcement Friday, although he acknowledged that the steps taken in Fall River were similar to those recommended by the firearm advocacy organization.

    Still, some other superintendents said they were uncomfortable at the thought of armed guards in their schools.

    David A. Fleishman, superintendent in Newton, said he has had extensive conversations with school, police, and city leaders the past week over possible tactics, but that no one he has spoken with advocated armed guards.

    “I’m wondering what kind of message it sends to kids to walk into a school and see an armed guard,” Fleishman said.

    Andrews said that schools should focus on measures other than armed personnel to *increase security.

    Many superintendents, he said, are now considering bullet*proof glass, especially on first-floor doors and windows. Some are also planning to *install security cameras and panic buttons, as well as a more enhanced system of doors that automatically lock to bar strangers from entering. (In the case of Sandy Hook Elementary School, the doors did automatically lock. The shooter, Adam Lanza, is suspected of forcing his way into the building.)

    “From the school side, the solutions get to be extremely complicated,” Andrews said. “There’s no easy, quick-fix *answer to this.”
     
  2. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    If they aren't going to allow concealed carry on school grounds then armed police is the next best thing.
     
  3. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    A whole whopping $165 a day per school? Considering the cost of living in the New England area, those cops don't get paid too well.

    As for being worried about what message they are sending the kids with armed guards? I would say it's letting them know that in reality they live in a dangerous world... which they do (and it is perfectly rational and OK to defend yourself), and that we care enough to spend the money to protect you.

    Burying your head in the sand and pretending/stating otherwise doesn't make it any different. Are all school administrators Geography teachers, specializing in a particular river in Egypt? Sheesh!
     
  4. Vantage

    Vantage Pacific Standard Time Active Member

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    Agreed.

    Also... I don't think it really sends ANY message. If anything... my kids would be excited to see someone uniformed at their school. They love anyone in uniform. Cops, Soldiers, Fireman, EMS... they get excited when they see any of them.
     
  5. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    .

    The state of WA prohibits CCW on school grounds (let alone inside the building) except for pick up and drop off of your kidletts. Here in Oregon, I just saw on the news about small protest in Portland (of course) how they want a ban on "assault weapons", and restriction on CHL holders from carrying inside public schools... Having six kids in the school system, I can understand the emotions and fear some would have for their kids... but going after LAW ABIDING, background checked, CHL holders is missing the mark, and not going after the target demographic that perpetrate these kinds of things...
     
  6. Izzy

    Izzy Oakridge Active Member

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    This is a good thing, but CC teachers would cost a $165 a day less & would have a tactical advantage! At this point, at least it's a step in the rite direction!
     
  7. Vantage

    Vantage Pacific Standard Time Active Member

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    I agree that teachers with Concealed Carry permits should be allowed to carry. I agree with that statement on its own merits.

    But I think a uniformed presence would act as a preventative measure. Crazy's KNOWING there is an armed resistance there, I think, would probably cause them to pick a different target.

    Having a CC teachers is good, but it wouldn't be "known" that the shooter would meet resistance until after he's already there doing the deed.

    We want a Show of Force as a deterrent, not the element of surprise.
     
  8. notazombie

    notazombie Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    I think it would be an interesting experiment to have armed guards in select schools within a district and let parents decide whether they want their kids to go to the "gun free" school or the or the one with a visible presence.
     
  9. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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  10. lonegunman

    lonegunman Eastern Washington Active Member

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