Letters, Jan. 8
No objection to officers in schools
The NRA has suggested that armed guards be placed in schools to help prevent school violence. Some see this as negative; however, in Durham having law enforcement officers in public schools dates back to about 1980 and as far as I know their presence remains welcomed.
The Durham Police Department won a federal grant to assign officers to schools within the Durham City School system. The school system administration balked at the idea of having officers in the schools. With the grant already accepted, the police approached the county schools and they accepted the officers in their schools. Once the benefits of the program became evident, the city schools reversed their original decision and so it was that the school resource officer program expanded and evolved into what it is today, with both the police and sheriff’s departments heavily involved in the now-combined school system. I believe it is a successful program appreciated by the schools and parents as well.
Given the experience in our community, I find it difficult to understand the objection to having law enforcement officers assigned to schools. Officers are very much involved and interact with students. They are onsite and armed, which in and of itself could be a deterrent to violence. Yes, there is a financial cost to this program; however, there are also additional benefits such as attention to other safety matters, monitoring gang activity, intervention, role modeling, teaching, etc.; money well spent!
An absurd comparison
In response to Joe Moran's letter, "Heavily armed does not mean safer": Moran makes an absurd comparison, i.e. personal firearms vs. nuclear weapons. However, he goes on to give the impression that he thinks we should look at this controversy from a historical perspective. I couldn't agree more.
Obviuosly, Moran and I are on opposite sides of this debate, but in the interest of objectivity, I have been looking for information on the results of gun bans. The facts seem to show that where individual firearms are banned, almost exclusively, the crime rate increases.
Let's have a historically responsible solution. Perhaps Moran meant "hysterical," not "historical."
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