Reader says: Why not hire retired former law enforcement officers wishing to serve their community and supplement their incomes and deputize them as school security police?
Every time a tragedy like the recent Parkland school shooting occurs, a flurry of opinions as to what will make schools safer begins to fly. Everything from banning firearms, which the majority of the Legislature and Congress won’t touch, to expanded background checks, which won’t bother the law-abiding gun owner one bit. And remember, not all nutcases provide indicators of their craziness.
But I’ve never seen one suggestion brought forward. Why not hire retired former law enforcement officers wishing to serve their community and supplement their incomes and deputize them as school security police? Provide them with a firearm (unarmed security is useless in a shooting situation), or to keep costs down, allow them to use their own firearm. But issuing a vest would be nice!
As an example of possible requirements, I am a former Florida state law enforcement officer, have licenses in security, am an expert marksman and was a security supervisor for many years for a private school in South Florida. My background has been checked many times. Looks like I might be pretty well qualified, and we wouldn't have to limit ourselves to former State of Florida law officers.
In addition, age should not be a limit as long as a person can see, hear, patrol and qualify on the range. I’ve worked with many older officers who were sharp as tacks!
So, each school with perhaps two officers – one inside, one outside – patrolling the perimeter and interior. Each officer getting to know the faces of staff, students and parents would go a long way for school safety, as any intruder with half a brain would be reluctant to enter knowing there was someone guarding who will shoot back! Full-time law officers now in schools could get back on the road and fight our local crimes.
Think about it. I would be happy to discuss options with any sheriff, police chief or school administrator.
Wade Marshall, Santa Rosa Beach