ALBION, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – School districts in Noble County consider placing special deputies armed with concealed weapons in schools after a proposal the sheriff made at a school board meeting.
Guns in every school—it's a security measure that's catching on across the country. Tuesday night the Central Noble Community Schools board voted to explore a proposal by the Noble County Sheriff's Department to arm staff members with concealed weapons.
It’s already happened in Montpelier, Ohio, and now it may happen in Noble County. On Wednesday, Central Noble Community Schools Superintendent Chris Daughtry says nothing is in the works yet, that it's only something that he and Noble County Sheriff Doug Harp are considering. Daughtry says it's not something that he wants to do, but something he feels has to be done.
"[Albion] It's a great community, small town, very good family values, but in saying that so is Newtown, Connecticut,” said Daughtry.
Daughtry says placing special deputies in Central Noble Community Schools would add extra security. Security measures like locked doors and safety drills are in place now, but Daughtry says an armed staff member could make the difference between life and death.
"Our feeling is if we can save one life, this has done its job. And bigger than that, it would act as deterrent for somebody thinking about entering a school, to me that's ultimately has done its job,” he said.
Sheriff Harp made the same proposal to East and West Noble School Corporations as well.
"This was the only option we really felt where we could slow down an active shooter, or stop an active shooter because our response time typically is after the fact,” said Sheriff Harp.
“Most of these killings take place in a very short time window and by time the police actually get on the scene, the damage is done,” said Daughtry.
Daughtry and Sheriff Harp both agree it would be ideal to put a trained officer in every school, but for a small district like Central Noble, it's simply not in the budget. That's why Sheriff Harp says he'll train certain staff members to carry concealed weapons for free.
"A lot of the training we're talking about would mirror exactly what a normal police officer would go through, you know yearly qualifications, weapons safety and on-going training,” he said.
To the Daughtry’s knowledge, there hasn't ever been a gun scare in any of the schools, and if the district decides to go through with it, he hopes there never will be.
"There is a trusting environment that we are doing this for kids, not that we're doing it because we want to carry guns. No educator got into this business because of that,” he said.
Daughtry says all the parents he’s spoken with support the idea. Tuesday night is the only meeting they’ve had on the issue, and although there are still a few more steps before the decision is final he doesn't think there will be any opposition. Daughtry says he hopes to get special deputies in schools as soon as possible. The next Central Noble school board meeting is Feb. 19.
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