For 10 years I worked security in St. Louis city and county. I worked at grocery stores, warehouses, hotels, carnivals, and many other places. One of the places was schools. Wellston, Richmond Heights, Normandy, Private schools, public schools and a whole host of other schools. I worked sports functions, dances graduations a whole gamut. The one thing 98% of those posts shared was I was required to work UNARMED. Yes that's right. Myself and other Licensed Security Officers who had the power of legal arrest had to work school functions in an unarmed capacity. One of the exceptions to being unarmed was the Wellston school district. With the Crips and the Bloods taking over the area, the Wellston school district switched us from Unarmed to Armed, after a near riot at a football game. Three days later our contract was amended and ALL SO's were required to be armed. There was only one other incident at Wellston's schools after that, and it was dealt with quickly by the two armed security officers without anyone's weapon being drawn, and only 1 person being slightly injured.
What type of sense does that make? To require trained personnel to work without the means of self defense or if needed offense? Several school districts even required fully P.O.S.T. certified police officers to work unarmed. They only allowed State Troopers and the County Police to carry weapons on their property.
Me personally, I found it both insulting and dangerous. Granted I didn't have 5 months of training at the police academy, but I did have the required 21 hours of class training and 8 hours of range training on top of my own military experience. And unlike most police officers, I practiced on the range once a month. Putting 250 rounds through my pistol a month. Most police officer only put the required 50 rounds a YEAR through their weapons. Granted I was an exception, many other security officers only fired their weapons at the twice a year qualifications. However we did have the training, and under law the authority of a police officer while we were on duty and on our contracted post.
What does all this have to do with arming teachers in St. Louis?
"ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOX) - St. Louis County Police
Chief Tim Fitch says it is time to talk about arming civilian school
personnel following Friday’s massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, comparing
it to arming airline pilots after September 11, 2001.
“I see it no differently,” he said. “Pilots have been armed now for many many years, we’ve not had another hijacking and the issue is, for the bad guy, he doesn’t know which airplane he’s getting on, if the pilot is armed or not.”
In Wellston I and other officers like myself, patrolled the grounds of the school and we carried radio's in case we were needed inside the school. There were several times where 1 radio call would have us running from one side of the campus to the other.
In 10 years of working in law enforcement, I only drew my weapon on duty less than 10 times. The only time I ever discharged my weapon was to kill a dog that had been run over by a metrolink train and cut in half but was still alive. I am thankful to God I never had to shoot a person, there was one time where I almost had to. That's right I almost had to take a human life. He dropped the knife he was waving and submitted to arrest so I didn't have t shoot him. I was very thankful that day.
Arming a teacher in a school does sound like it would be a good deterrent to a future mass shooting, but it is not the only thing that can be done.
The allowing of properly trained and licensed personnel to actually carry their weapons would do a lot more toward securing the safety of our most precious resource. Our children.
Here where I live the School has it's own armed school police officers, there are at least 2 for every school campus and several who patrol between each campus. That is how it should be done. Actual trained and certified officers assigned to each campus. The officers walk through the school, not restricted to watching a door or a static position. Being inside and outside of the school. All in radio contact with the school's office and each other.
A good action plan now, would be to incorporate the trained and armed teachers with the schools own police officers and a proper action plan with radio communication, and make it known that such a plan exists. Should reduce any such attacks in the future.