Police suggest arming resource officers, not teachers to increase school safety

01/17/2013 06:01 PM

Police and security experts told lawmakers Thursday that Kentucky needs to tighten its monitoring of school buildings and rely on armed resource officers — not teachers — to keep students safe.

“Who’s going to fight for these kids when an attack is imminent? You can run and hide, but if no one is armed, it’s going to be a loss,” Alex Payne, a retired sergeant with the Kentucky State Police told the House Special Subcommittee on School Safety Issues.

Payne and Mark Filburn, a retired lieutenant with the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, recommended that Kentucky schools:

  • Hire armed resource officers
  • Limit the access points to route visitors through the office
  • Practice lock down procedures
  • Keep doors locked, install buzzers for visitors and put up security cameras
  • And make sure security cameras monitor parking lots

Filburn said school officials have a limited time to react to someone suspicious. “The golden clock is ticking,” he said. And the right security cameras and locked doors can add precious seconds or minutes to implement lock-down procedures.

The costs of implementing those safety measures wasn’t given but the two legislators who are active teachers — Reps. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, and John “Bam” Carney, R-Campbellsville — said every school won’t be able to afford its own resource officer.

Jon Akers, director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety, told lawmakers that schools can tighten their safety procedures now for free by having drills for fires, lock-downs, earthquakes and severe weather and working with local law enforcement on those drills.

The subcommittee will hold its next meeting Friday, Jan. 25.

About Don Weber

Don Weber joined cn|2 when it launched back in May 2010 and soon became a reporter for Pure Politics. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and has spent many years covering everything from politics to sports. Don says he loves meeting new people everyday as part of his job and also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same when he comes to work. Don Weber can be reached at donald.weber@twcnews.com.


  • Len wrote on January 18, 2013 12:01 PM :

    A single School Resource Officer (SRO) is not sufficient in the event of more then one individual acting against it. In the event of more than one individual carrying out an act, they will have plans and prepared to take on just one RSO, for example, terrorist whether “foreign or domestic,” they can easily distract or create a decoy for a single SRO.

    Furthermore, Kentucky has 120 counties with atleast 10 schools (some less) per county. Look at the huge cost involved if each officer is paid based upon $25-30,000 per year. A school and a single SRO had better make certain they have a “pre-emptive plan” in place of having sufficient backup…by the time extra police arrive, it is usually too late. That is why a school has more security available with “certain armed staff already in place” and an extra bonus to armed them, a less cost to the School, to the State, and to Kentucky taxpayers!

  • viewer wrote on January 19, 2013 02:12 PM :

    Law enforcement is trained to shot and when not to shot. I have no problem with law enforcement at schools. But when you start talking about teachers packing , that will backfire sooner or later. I dont think some understand that when Clint Eastwood said make my day , that he was in a movie, and the person didnt have a real gun. Fact and fiction is getting very blurry in the world today. Just because it sounds good , reason has to win out in the end. Please let the teachers teach , and cops protect us.

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