School Resource Officers have been on high school campuses in Tallahassee since 1981. It was a school resource officer who arrested a 15 year old for bringing a gun to Leon High School on Thursday.
“Having a sworn law enforcement officer on campus today made it go even better. Obviously he was here and has the expertise to handle the situation,” said High School Principal Bobby Epting.
Now the Leon County Sheriff and School Superintendent want the Governor to fund resource officers at every school in the state. The call comes as some suggest arming teachers.
Sheriff Larry Campbell says guns don’t belong in the hands of the inexperienced. “The number of hours that we put in the course of a career makes the law enforcement officer far superior than some civilian that says I know how to use a weapon.”
Experts say there is a parallel about the security that was once needed in courthouses and is now needed in schools.
Security was hap-hazard at Florida courthouses until a judge was shot and killed during a messy divorce. Now many state lawmakers say a comprehensive review of school security is needed.
“Where we are, how we got to where we are, and what changes we need to make. This is a serious issue. This is an American tragedy. Our children shouldn’t have to go to school being afraid,” said Senator Bill Montford.
Lawmakers will take the first steps at improving school safety at committee hearings in January.
Schools have been required to have a safety plan since 2001. Governor Rick Scott has ordered the Department of Education to review and enhance plans with individual districts.