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Sheriff: Now is the time for armed officers in schools

February 20, 2018 06:40 PM

QUEENSBURY- Warren County Sheriff Bud York says now is the time to act. He says the recent school shooting in Florida and all the others before have motivated him to push for an idea he first proposed five years ago after the Connecticut school massacre.

"I've felt this way since Sandy Hook, Mark," York told a reporter Tuesday.

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York, who requires his deputies to check in at schools daily, wants to see districts post armed guards -- likely retired officers and troopers -- at their entrances.

He says schools already pay civilians to buzz people in through locked doors, so why not use armed officers instead.

"You have a trained officer that's been trained for 20 to 30 years who's retired, what's he going to do? He's going to pull out his gun and he's going to protect the school. I think that's what you need."

The sheriff says the officers wouldn't cost much more.

York says civilians doing it now are paid about $20,000 to $25,000 a year. He says for $30,000 a year, districts could hire retired officers.

For bigger districts with more buildings, that would mean more costs. However, superintendents contacted by NewsChannel 13 Tuesday say it's worth looking into and they say gone are the days when people were alarmed by police in schools.

"I don't think anyone feels like having the presence of whether it's the sheriffs, the State Police or the Glens Falls Police, is creating a fortress-type atmosphere. I think people appreciate the fact that the police are involved in the schools," said Paul Jenkins, superintendent of Glens Falls Schools.

York has asked for a meeting with school administrators and will get it on March 7 in Lake George.

Lake George's school superintendent, Lynne Rutnik, sent an email to NewsChannel 13 Tuesday, saying in part, "...the safety of schools doesn't lie with one individual, it's the responsibility of our entire community to ask the questions, start the discussions, and act... "

Credits

Mark Mulholland

Copyright 2018 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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