There are a wide range of ideas on how to keep students safe in schools. Some school districts utilize metal detectors. At the other end of the spectrum, there's the belief that a bucket of rocks will help if an active shooter is in the school. According to this paper, the trend of placing police officers in schools has existed for the past two decades. Another route to achieve a similar end is to transition armed security officers -- already inside the schools -- into full-blown police officers. The fact that the security officers-turned police will undergo the same training as municipal police officers is a great concept, not only for the knowledge, but also because it will (hopefully) reduce the amount of criticism that could be leveled at them for not being properly trained. -- IFPO.
New Castle PA October 6 2019
The New Castle School District wants to form its own police force.
Sgt. Shawn Lough, with the New Castle Police Department said, "It will be a school police department, basically. Their jurisdiction is going to be in the schools."
Lough said the armed security guards will go through some of the same training as the city's officers.
It's part of Act 44, which is a Pennsylvania state mandate requiring all armed school security guards to beef up their training and become school police officers.
Khalil Tutson-Huddleston, who works as an armed security officer, said, "We'll actually have that title, which carries a little bit more weight, which allows us to do a lot more things."
School officials say the school police officers will be able to issue citations and handle other duties they aren't able to do now, which would create another layer of security. They said that security won't be just inside the school, but for all school-related activities, such as football games.
Superintendent of the New Castle School District Debbie DeBlasio said, "I feel bad that we are at this point, but I also feel much safer."
"These security people who are being trained are there to help students, to help protect them, the buildings, the staff and the community,” said New Castle Senior High School Principal Richard Litrenta.
School officials said there are several armed security officers.
Some parents feel safer knowing the mandatory training is more intense.
Erick Montgomery, who is a parent, said, "I'm 100% for it. In today's day and age it's sad that you can't send your kids to school, not knowing if they are safe.
Other parents said the fewer guns that are in schools, the better.
"I'm not happy with guns, period. I don't believe in guns except police officers and our military, but not police in our schools," said Becky Shields.
All of the security guards must get court approval and be sworn in by a judge.
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