JCPD supervisor of school resource officers not supportive of arming teachers
In the wake of the school shooting tragedy in Parkland, Florida last week, school districts and law enforcement agencies all across the country are reexamining policies and procedures to keep kids safe.
The Johnson City Police Department will look at whether more officers should be staffed at schools when it evaluates the next budget. Right now, every school in the Johnson City School District is staffed with a school resource officer.
Some parents have questioned whether arming teachers and school staff with firearms is a potential solution to violent school shootings. The JCPD supervisor of school resource officers disagrees.
“I really don’t think that the majority of school teachers and administrators want to carry weapons,” Capt. Steve Smith told WCYB. “I don’t think that’s the answer, in my personal opinion.”
Capt. Smith says there isn’t enough information available to prove whether or not arming school faculty would make schools any safer. Chief Karl Turner said that decision should be up to the school board, but if they did choose to arm teachers, those individual would need extensive training.
At East Tennessee State University, 59 employees have registered with the school to have a concealed weapon on campus. No additional training was required outside of what is necessary to obtain a concealed weapons permit.
JCPD now has 3D mapping software at its disposal, allowing them to make 3D images of schools and other buildings for use by officers during crisis situation. Chief Turner says the department will begin scanning local schools soon.