Educators, police vary on more school officers - WKRN News 2

Educators, police vary on more school officers

Posted: Updated: Jan 3, 2013 05:21 PM

As Middle Tennessee students head back to class after the holidays, many school districts are considering various responses to the Newtown Elementary shootings.

Some, like Williamson County, are moving quickly to add school resource officers at a cost of $2.5 million.

Others, like Metro-Nashville, are taking more of a wait-and-see approach.

"It costs a lot of money to put officers into those schools and those are serious discussions that have to be had," said Fraternal Order of Police President Sgt. Robert Weaver.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and police chief Steve Anderson said they are looking at adding police officers to Metro schools, but no decision has been made.

Metro schools spokesman Meredith Libby told Nashville's News 2 the system would look to the Metro Police Department if there is a push to put officers in schools, especially at the 73-elementary schools.

"We would look to the police department to advise if those police officers would improve safety more by being in elementary schools or being on patrol," Libbey said.

FOP President Weaver said there is lots to consider like, "making sure there are officers to back up officers on calls to make sure there are people out there ready to respond, it's a balancing act."

However, it's a different story in Williamson County where Sheriff Jeff Long told the county commission just days after the Newtown shootings that "law enforcement throughout the county has committed to an increased presence at the schools."
The multi-million dollar proposal that would put an armed police officers in every Williamson County elementary school is likely to be funded this month.

The Williamson County Commission budget committee plans to take up the proposal on Monday.

The full commission could consider the additional funding for armed officers in school at its January 14 meeting.

In neighboring Rutherford County, the commission's public safety committee asked Sheriff Robert Arnold to come up with a proposal for 10 to 12 police officers that would put one in every elementary school.

He presents the proposal to the Williamson County Commission budget and finance committee on Thursday, January 10.

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