A former Bradley County Schools principal, who led an effort to get school resource officers in all the county schools, said an officer with a weapon likely would have been able to save many lives at the Connecticut school where there was a mass shooting.
Herbert Lackey said, "I believe if an armed officer had been at the school, there would not have been nearly as many deaths."
Mr. Lackey said he became convinced that SROs provide a variety of valuable services at a school in addition to security.
He said after John Stone was placed at Black Fox Elementary he began helping with traffic and controlling speeders before and after school, sat in on parent-teacher conferences that sometimes had become heated in the past, was involved in improving attendance, and was a friend to students and their families.
Mr. Lackey said when some problems arose at his school he mentioned the possibility of getting an officer to then-Sheriff Dan Gilley. He said Sheriff Gilley said there might be some grant money available, and funding was eventually secured for three schools.
He said he, then-School Director Bob Taylor and Sheriff Gilley then went before the Bradley County Commission to seek SROs for every school in the system. He said he told of the value the SRO had proven at his school.
He said there initially was a tie 7-7 vote. There was a recess, then one commissioner switched votes to approve the resolution.
Mr. Lackey's daughter, Kim Fisher, is now the principal at Black Fox. He said she's very glad that an SRO is still in place at the school.