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Sheriff: Put guns in schools

Published: Monday, December 17, 2012 @ 2:07 PM
Updated: Monday, December 17, 2012 @ 2:22 PM


            Richard K. Jones
            Samantha Grier
Richard K. Jones(Samantha Grier)

As sheriff patrols will increase around Butler County schools in the wake of the Connecticut mass shootings, Sheriff Richard K. Jones is proposing placing weapons in schools — an idea he first pushed for after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.

In light of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Jones said today that he would like to see legislation introduced that would mandate placing armed personnel in all public and private Ohio schools, from elementary schools through colleges.

Jones said he believes putting guns in schools — either assigned law enforcement officers or select teachers or administrators trained in firearms techniques — “makes the most sense.”

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“I believe having armed personnel readily available to immediately respond would be a deterrent in and of itself,” Jones said. “If a potential shooter knows someone might react within seconds rather than having a 15- to 30-minute or more window of opportunity to wreak havoc on as many victims as possible, they might rethink their plan.”

Effective immediately, all sheriff’s deputies in the patrol unit are being instructed to “substantially increase their visibility at all schools” within their beats.

Jones said there will be more frequent patrols through school parking lots and on various other school grounds. Also, at least two additional marked units will be deployed during normal school hours to specifically patrol school grounds.

While the added patrols or his “guns in schools” proposal is not a guarantee a school shooting would never take place, Jones hopes it can limit a potential similar tragedy.

“Most of the recent victims were young, innocent children. We have to take whatever steps we can to protect our future,” Jones said. “Kids should be safe at school. We have to do anything we can to try to keep them that way.”