School security report suggests more armed officers in schools

5 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Thursday, August 01 2019 Aug 1, 2019 Thursday, August 01, 2019 3:17:00 PM CDT August 01, 2019 in News
By: Noel Walton, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - A new report from a Missouri task force suggests that every school in the state should have an armed law enforcement officer on duty in order to quickly respond to an active shooter.

The task force says the report is one part of an overall plan to create a safer environment for students. 

The special force, headed by Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, included school and law enforcement officials and mental health professionals. They began meeting in April at the request of Republican Gov. Mike Parson.

Paul Fennewald, a senior policy advisor at the Missouri Center of Education Safety, helped write the report. He said that it's not just a school district issue, but rather a community issue that begins with mental health.

"Although I feel that having more guns can help de-escalate some situations, I also feel like allocating money to improve mental health across the state would be a better way to prevent these situations."

According to Fennewald, building a web of mental health resources that are readily available to parents, counselors and students is a necessity.

"I think putting money towards both better mental health resources and having the presence of an armed officer is what needs to happen."

Michelle Baumstark, community relations director of Columbia Public Schools, says that the high schools all have school resource officers and there's one that floats between the middle schools. They also have three armed safety and security directors that float between campuses and are in the process of hiring another one. 

"I think having a partnership with the local law enforcement agency to provide support to schools in the district is absolutely important."

Although she agrees with having law enforcement present in school, she understands that it's important to have the right people for the job.

"It takes a lot to have armed individuals in a school because you always have to worry about training, whether it's to train someone to use a firearm or you're training them to de-escalate a situation so that they don't have to use the firearm."

Raymond Hall, a local parent, says that it doesn't matter how trained an individual is, he disagrees with having armed officers in schools. 

"I feel that people may be trying to use armed officers to solve issues with students that should be solved at home. The district should put more money and effort into the school counselors."

Hall said sometimes officers can impose a threat and discomfort to students.

"We need to encourage teachers to sit down and really talk to kids and get to know them on a personal level so they can better identify behavioral issues."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Local Kansas City Chiefs fans are spending their day watching the game with family and friends to see... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:57:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Capitol Kids, a multipurpose gym, reopened its doors on Sunday, nearly 8 months after a tornado... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:37:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS- One Kansas City Chiefs fan saved the day by driving wide receiver Tyreek Hill's grandparents to the AFC... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:32:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
FLORISSANT - Additional charges will be filed against a man accused... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 1:19:50 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
(CNN)- The US Department of Agriculture on Friday announced two new proposals that would give school nutrition professionals "more flexibility"... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 12:43:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY - A teenager who was critically wounded during a weekend shooting in southeastern Kansas City, Missouri, has died.... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 10:22:15 AM CST January 19, 2020 in News
ARNOLD, MO - A couple who had been together for nearly 65 years have died on the same day at... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 10:06:00 AM CST January 19, 2020 in News
ASHLAND- Dozens of children from across mid-Missouri came together to play and learn about a potential profession at the annual... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, January 18 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Saturday, January 18, 2020 6:53:00 PM CST January 18, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS — Thousands of St. Louis-area families were freed from a major financial burden thanks to a charitable effort... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, January 18 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Saturday, January 18, 2020 6:25:00 PM CST January 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - With more than 450 attendees, Bur Oak brewery was packed for the fifth annual 2020 MO Bacon &... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 18 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Saturday, January 18, 2020 4:48:00 PM CST January 18, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A few days after her son was born on Super Bowl Sunday Ellen Gill learned he... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 18 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Saturday, January 18, 2020 2:18:00 PM CST January 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man in connection to shots fired reported on Friday night at the Walmart on Broadway,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 18 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Saturday, January 18, 2020 2:03:00 PM CST January 18, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The owner of a tourist duck boat that sank in a Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 18 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Saturday, January 18, 2020 12:56:00 PM CST January 18, 2020 in News
FULTON - Inspirational speaker and former Minor League Baseball outfielder Chris Singleton, who lost his mother in a shooting at... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 18 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Saturday, January 18, 2020 9:01:00 AM CST January 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The city of Columbia reporter hundreds of residents were without power Friday afternoon in east central Columbia, in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 6:03:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Former Walmart Inc. chief executive David Glass, who owned the Kansas City Royals for nearly... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 5:24:21 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - Another week in January, and another winter storm. This time around it will likely all happen in one... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 4:46:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in Weather
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Fire Department is reminding residents to make sure their home is safe during these cold temperatures. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 4:03:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 19°
6pm 18°
7pm 15°
8pm 14°
9pm 13°