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Putting police officers in schools is good idea

Since 9/11, virtually all government buildings are protected by elaborate security, including armed guards. Even at the National Institutes of Health and Arlington Cemetery, previously open to the public, you will encounter armed guards, ID checks and vehicles searched and swabbed for bomb residue. We spend billions protecting politicians and government workers. So why is it so ridiculous to suggest armed security in our schools?

New York City schools are secured by the Police Department’s School Safety Division. This division has approximately 5,000 school safety agents and 200 police officers with the status of a New York State peace officer who has the ability to make arrests and use physical and deadly force. Most large cities, including Buffalo, employ police/security officers to “maintain the peace” in their schools. Unfortunately, the vast majority of suburban/rural schools do not have full-time police presence. All schools are “advertised” as gun-free zones and thus easy targets. None of the school mass killings has occurred in secured city schools, rather in unarmed suburban/rural schools.

Increased restrictions on guns owned by law-abiding citizens will result in a dangerous false sense of security. Also, considering the vast majority of mass killings have ended with the shooter committing suicide, increased penalties for having a gun on school property will not be a deterrent. Yes, we need to start somewhere. We must secure our schools. We must keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally unstable. If virtually all guns were confiscated from law-abiding citizens, there would still be many ways a determined terrorist could attack unsecured schools. We spend billions to protect government workers from such threats, why not schools?

William J. Voss

East Aurora