Put School Resource Officers In Our Schools - And Response (3)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Here are a few facts: 

1. Fewer than half of Hamilton County schools have a school resource officer. 

2. There has never been a mass shooting in a Hamilton County school. 

3. If a mass shooting occurred in one of our schools on Wednesday, every one of our schools would have a school resource officer present on Thursday.

So what are we waiting for? Hamilton County Commission, please do the right thing and fund these positions today. We don't need you to pay to train teachers to be campus police officers. We need you to pay the well-trained officers we already have within the CPD and the HCSO. 

Jeremy Barrett
Hamilton County Teacher 

* * * 

Mr. Barrett, If you are so concerned with facts, then why don't we introduce a study done by the United States Secret Service published in 2002. Here is the address: http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac_ssi.shtml.  

In this study the USSS found that in schools where a resource officer was present, only 8 percent could have intervened in any manner. That's not to say they could have even halted the attack, this is only to say that they were near the incident when it happened.  

With that being said, I don't want taxpayer dollars being offered up to a program that provides little to no additional value to prevent an occurrence. This is the same idea the U.S. government had in fighting terrorism by throwing money at the problem.  

We need metal detectors at every entrance, better counseling services for troubled kids, more parental involvement, capitol hill law changes dictating that education is a privilege and not a right, and a drastic change in our culture.  

By the way, when did it become rational that in order to hold classes a police officer had to be present? I tend to stay away from venues that has to staff such security. There is a reason why this is happening now and with more frequency. It isn't video games, movies or music. The way these children are being raised by their parents can speak volumes for their motives behind these attacks.  

Jason Defriese

* * * 

Mr. Defriese, 

You may quote studies until you have cured insomnia, but I served as a school administrator in three different buildings in Hamilton County in the 1980s until 2001 and I question their validity in the strongest terms.. Having a police officer with the ability to arrest law breakers and acting as a physically present deterrent is need today I had a DARE officer in the last building I supervised four out of five days a week and I had to call on him to stop me from being assaulted by an out of control man who became violent after I had the gall to question his presence in the building. 

I had to use my DARE officer and  the middle school resource officer as security at our promotion day to insure a divorced couple with a history of problems throughout the school system would not disrupt our event. Our parents never knew the potential for problems but I was proactive in my quest to provide the best day I could for out students. Without their help, I don't know what might have happened. 

Now with no DARE officer and not every elementary shares a campus with a middle school, administrators are left to their own devices. That is why we have people proposing they go armed. That is a very bad decision. 

So don't take smug confidence in some study done by bureaucrats in DC. Ask the people who have seen an evolution of behavior from a time when schools were a respected place of safety to our present situation. Just as society is often uncivil now, our schools only are a mirror of society and the law must be enforced and the helpless protected. And placing 500 to 900 of our citizens on a few acres deserves as much protection as the County Commission or City Council meetings. 

Ralph Miller
Chattanooga

* * * 

I totally agree with Mr. Miller/Mr. Barrett.  There are more issues in school now than just mass shootings and chances are there isn’t much you can do to diffuse someone with a bushmaster. 

My wife teaches and is trained to teach, yet not trained to defend people within the school premises.  She is a military veteran, yet we can’t get the point of teachers being armed.  Why would the county or state want to take on such an undertaking by training teachers that want to carry guns?  There would be a larger concern with the misuse and misplacement of the gun than any chance of stopping a mass murderer.   We would worry more about some kid taking a dare to steal a gun away from an unsuspecting teacher than anyone running down the halls in a shootem’ up.   Why would legislators want to have that many weapons in close proximity to students on a daily basis?  Are they nuts? 

A resource officer may not stop the mass murderer either, but their uses have been observed to show that they diffuse violence among students, parents and teachers and are deterrents for criminals bringing their contraband and weapons on the premises.   They basically protect the 400 to 2,000 innocent people within the walls of the school.    

We have patrol for everything from outdoor events, river-walk, courthouse, and general building security.  It makes sense to me to have someone like that available in the middle and high schools, to be able to make on the spot arrests and protect our citizens.  At the least, constricted door with security access and security cameras should be made available to all elementary schools.   It doesn’t take studies in Washington to figure that out.         

Kevin Byars
Hixson



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