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Should Armed Officer Be Assigned to Public Schools?

Should Armed Officer Be Assigned to Public Schools?

Philadelphia Inquirer via YellowBrix

April 09, 2011

PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey are discussing a proposal to put armed city police officers in some schools as part of a comprehensive plan to improve safety and security for the 155,000 students enrolled in the Philadelphia School District.

“We can’t ignore the fact that we have a problem, and we have to regain control of the schools,” Ramsey said.

The discussions on remedying school violence took place last week, as The Inquirer was publishing a seven-part series, “Assault on Learning.”

The series detailed brutal attacks on students and teachers – thousands of assaults are recorded annually – and raised questions about whether the district’s incident-reporting system was understating the violence. Articles also showed how student-intervention programs pushed by Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman and districtwide antiviolence efforts have been ineffective.

The School District issued a statement Friday saying it was “working closely with the Philadelphia Police Department and the office of Mayor Nutter to discuss ways to provide safety in our School District. It is an ongoing partnership, and we look forward to continued discussions.”

Both Nutter and Ramsey think that the Police Department should be in charge of school security and that putting city police in the schools is one way to help curb violence.

“There’s no question, that’s where they’d [Nutter and Ramsey] like to go,” Mark McDonald, the mayor’s press secretary, said Friday.

The Police Department began exercising more authority over district safety last summer, when it lent Inspector Myron Patterson to the district to replace safety chief James B. Golden.

Critics said increasing the police presence in the schools won’t solve the problem of violence.

“It’s not the appropriate response,” said Shelly Yanoff, executive director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth. “It does not work.”

Yanoff said she hoped “there is a full approach that deals with improving school climate, behavior treatment for kids who need it, and adopting with fidelity those approaches that have been researched and are shown to work.”

Michael Lodise, president of the School District police officers union, also questioned the idea.

“What is that going to solve?” he asked. “My guys are trained in dealing with these kids. I do not see any usefulness in it.”

Lodise complained this week that the district, as part of budget cutbacks, wanted to lay off 163 school police officers out of the 635 full- and part-time members of the force. District officials declined to confirm that figure.

“They want to cut 163 of my people and put in city cops, which they are short of on the street anyway,” Lodise said. “I don’t understand that.”

Others, including City Councilman Jim Kenney and Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, supported the idea.

“Knowing Charles H. Ramsey and his ability, and the talent of his top commanders,” Kenney said, “I’m confident they can come up with a plan to improve safety in city schools.”

Jordan said he had been a teacher at University City High School in the 1980s when police officers were stationed in schools.

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  • Skull_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Just look up Lt Col Dave Grossman. Protect our children they are the future.

  • Wolf_001_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I am an unarmed security at a high school in Colorado. We do have an SRO who is armed but he is responsible
    for many schools in the area and so is often not on campus. It is sometimes uncomfortable not to be armed . I am not the Police but if a serious situation happens I may easily be all we have until police arrive. I am all for armed Officers on campus. I also feel not arming your security with at least a Taser(with proper training) is foolish and unsafe for security personel.

  • Images_7a8ec2bec1e1bf7f38b54b52a8c9c453_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Its all about money and politics. SRO Police in schools for long time now. unarmed security or school security officers obviously not the same level of protection and enforcement. Not the place to save a few bucks.

  • Cpu_2010_max50


    about 4 years ago


    We already have uniformed police officers in High School and Middle schools. Have had them in place for many years and it has proven to be a great deturent and helpful when we have to pick up a child on warrant. There is backup already in place. It is a great program.

  • 25-1-13-a_1__max50


    about 4 years ago


    Why are we calling anything "UN-ARMED" a police officer / de[artment? That would be a glorified security officer / department and appears to be as completely ineffective as the school discipline. In today’s world, with violent crimes on significant rise inside and outside of our schools, not having an ARMED officer with full police powers is crazy thinking. Either the existing school police department needs to be given full police powers or the district needs to change the title to school safety or security and allow the city to provide policing and an SRO on each campus. Anything less opens the district up for vicarious liability for providing an unsafe environment for students and all district employees.

  • Image_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Should armed officer be allowed in schools...? I have a couple reasons why... Ma'alot, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Nickel Mines, I could go on but I think everyone gets the picture. I'm sorry I lost my train of thought why is this even a discussion again. Oh right politics and budget! I feel sorry for the family of the first person killed by an active shooter. The lawsuit settlement money will be of little condolence for the loss of a loved one and the school district would be bankrupt.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    about 4 years ago


    The comment made by the director of public citizens for children is so off the wall and shows that she she has no idea what she is talking about. For an officer to be assigned to a school unarmed is just plain stupid. They need to put some boots on the ground, make a lot of arrests and put these dirtbags in check so that the others can get an education in an atmosphere safety.

  • Police-997-1-08-06_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Makes sense why Philly is outa control, bunch of retards handleing the reins. "Critics said increasing the police presence in the schools won’t solve the problem of violence." Just like most crimminals are innocent too, police have nothing better to do than try and frame people for crimes. The sh$t gets deeper everyday. Reading this is like listening to politicians talk about the countrys debt and how there going to solve the problem.

  • My_pics_max50


    about 4 years ago


    one word- POLITICS.......

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    about 4 years ago


    Agree that police officers need to be in the schools nowadays. Bump janus41's commentary about Colombine !!!!!

  • Shield_max50


    about 4 years ago


    The recent spike in violence at the schools is a reason why the police should be armed. Kids fight and stab each other at schools, and to ask an officer to work in a school without a firearm is detrimental to the safety of others. If there were armed police officers at the Colombine school, im pretty sure the outcome would have been a lot different. Think about that for a second.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    I must concur with all here.Let's, for the first time in a decade, leave this political correctness garbage at the doorstep of the fools.Absolutely and positivly armed officers.There will be the usual gnashing of teeth by the Liberal media,who cares?

  • 100_1019_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I think that most schools need armed Police!! Like the article say's they are mentors, and that is a great thing for these kids!!!

  • 1470392_10205607568942018_1213501835514947434_n_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I guess some cities are behond the curve. I thought all schools had armed police officers in them. The have in Colorado for many years. This decision would be a no brainer.

  • Iraqcampaignmedal-ribbon_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Any Officer that would take a position in a school and be unarmed is an idiot. Why, 'cause the students have guns and aren't afraid to use them either. That's a dumbass question by the city.

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