Some campus resource officers in Spokane, WA, are asking the school district to train and arm them with guns.
The resource officers have made their request to union leadership, reports the Spokesman-Review.
Unlike most school districts in Washington, Spokane Public Schools resource officers are school employees, thus members of the Spokane Education Association. They are limited-commission officers and can arrest and investigate crimes both on and off school property, reports the Spokesman-Review. Currently the district has 15 campus resource officers at schools during the day and four campus response specialists who work nights and weekends.
According to the Spokesman-Review article, there are 1,618 cameras district-wide and secure entry points in all but two schools. Since 2003, Spokane Public Schools has earmarked $14.5 million in bond money for school security.
Mark Sterk, the district’s director of security and transportation, said that logistically, the majority of Spokane Public Schools’ resource officers could be armed quickly because they have law enforcement backgrounds, the article said.
The question of whether to arm school resource officers is a complicated one, Sterk said. However, he pointed out that any effort to arm campus resource officers would need City Council and mayoral approval.