Many Local Students Head Back To Schools With Armed Guards

Several districts approved arming resource officers over the summer

Larry Richert and John Shumway
August 27, 2018 - 4:11 pm

Andrew Limberg



PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — As children head back to school, more local districts are employing armed guards in an effort to keep schools safe after the high-profile school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida this past February.

Montour, Bethel Park, Upper St. Clair, Elizabeth Forward, Plum, West Jefferson Hills, North Allegheny and North Hills now have some form of armed officer at their schools.

Elizabeth Forward now employs four retired police officers in each of the districts buildings.

Armed guards will patrol the six buildings in the Upper St. Clair school district.

Montour School District superintendent Dr. Chris Stone told the KDKA Radio Morning News the district has elected to have one armed guard in each of its buildings including a “mobile officer” that will move between the high school and elementary school that share the same campus.

“We have two recently retired state troppers. We have one recently retired sergeant from the Robinson Township Police and in Kennedy Township we actually have a full-time officer from the Kennedy Township Police,” Stone said.

Montour officials said in a June statement “while it is sad we have to react to societal issues in this manner, we cannot and will not be defenseless to the threat of violent intruders.”

The Bethel Park website says their school police officers won’t just react to situations but will be proactive by educating students on “age appropriate topics.”

The district will also use the officer’s presence “to build positive relationships, and [help] to identify and stem problems before they can escalate.”

Two armed officers in McCandless are serving as resource officers at North Allegheny. In addition the officers will also make suggestions on how security can be improved.

School districts like Butler and Gateway have had armed officers in their buildings prior to this year.

Security officers began carrying guns in Butler after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Gateway armed their security officers late in 2016.

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