Lebanon Co. school board votes to allow armed police officer to patrol during school

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Are guns the answer to keep children safe at school? It’s a question on the mind of parents and staff at Cornwall-Lebanon School District. Monday night board members voted unanimously to arm their school police officer with a gun.

Superintendent Dr. Philip Domencic said it’s something school board members have been looking into for about a year. “Our board members have given this a lot of thought. We’ve tried to look at the facts of this and tried to take some of the emotions out of it. The policy placed on the table in February, with some revisions. The vote was Monday evening,” said Dr. Domencic. “It’s just an unfortunate reality given some of these tragic situations that have occurred.”

After the Sandy Hook School Shooting school officials around the country have struggled with how to keep our children safe. Cornwall-Lebanon School District already uses armed police officers at larger events and functions. The district also already employs a police officer full-time who is in charge of school security. “They have the capacity to detain, to issue citations, and to represent the district in civil matters,” said Dr. Domencic. Now during the school day that police officer will be able to carry a gun.

“We have procedures and things in place that are really part of a whole plan. This is one part of it. This isn’t the only aspect of what we’re doing for school safety and security,” said Dr. Domencic. He said the district will pay for the officers training and equipment, which includes a gun and ammunition.

“It would be the same protocols of any police departments, whether it be State Police or local law enforcement. It is an ongoing thing just as it is for police officers,” said Dr. Domencic.

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