St. Louis County Police Chief Wants to Arm School Officials With Guns

In the wake of the Newtown, CT school massacre, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch will visit schools this week to discuss increasing security, including putting guns in elementary schools.

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch and police officers will begin visiting St. Louis County schools Monday morning, according to KMOV.

Fitch said he's received numerous calls from area schools concerned about security since Friday's mass shooting in a Newtown, CT elementary school. 

Fitch acknowledges that most high schools and some middle schools, including those in West County, have armed school resource officers. 

However, elementary schools are not normally protected by officers. Fitch wants to see armed resource officers or armed school officials in those schools, according to KSDK.

He points out that Sandy Hook Elementary School conducted threat drills and locked its doors once class started, but that did not stop suspected shooter Adam Lanza from gunning down 20 children and six women Friday. 

St. Louis area schools also lock their doors when class starts and conduct threat drills. However, this week, Fitch plans to meet with school officials throughout the county to discuss increasing security at schools even more. 

His proposal includes putting guns in the schools, particularly the elementary schools. He said the weapons would remain locked up with trained staff members having access to them in an emergency. 

What do you think about Chief Fitch's proposal? Do you have a better suggestion? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

Watch KMOV's entire here.

Watch KSDK's story here. 

flyoverland December 17, 2012 at 02:12 PM
While it may sound far-fetched, he is absolutely correct. In the five minutes it takes to respond, its over. Schools can take security measures like locking doors with codes, but the guy in CT shot out the windows. We have always heard a deranged person willing to give up his/her life is basically unstoppable. The best we can do, just like with terrorists, is deter them. We have all the laws we need. Mentally ill people do not care about laws. The real solution is regulating how we care for the mentally ill. I would gladly give up my gun if it would bring back even one of these kids, but it won't. We need to understand why so many people feel compelled to own so many guns. It isn't just the "crazy right," as libs always say. A majority of Americans fear something so much that they feel the need to be armed. Some fear an overreaching government. Some fear crime, others terrorism. Some a collapse of order, which, 20 years ago would have seemed crazy, but today, anyone who lived through the financial collapse could see how it could happen. We have always had guns and they were easier to get in the 50's and 60's, but we didn't have this. It is not the guns. It is a pervasive evil that has overcome this country. Everyone knows the symptoms. An "if it feels good," morality system, a 50% divorce rate, a decline in religion, a 24 hour news industry that magnifies crime as a business model, I could go on. This is where we live. There's no one problem, or one solution.
ReverePaul December 17, 2012 at 04:16 PM
i have no problem with an armed officer at elementary schools and other schools but the idea of having armed teachers is ridiculous
CreveCoeurDad December 17, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Sounds like a proposal to increase the footprint of government. Which we will then be forced to pay for, forever. It will never, ever go away - no government program ever does. Just take a look at the mission creep of TSA, there's always some boogieman just out of sight, who could be "cured" by just a little more government. There is no epidemic of school shootings that in any way justifies a permanent increase in law enforcement presence at elementary schools. In fact, I would say that by and large, there is no epidemic at middle or high schools either that justifies the current police presence, outside of certain urban high schools. This is simply mass hysteria.
ReverePaul December 17, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Back to flyoverland's point of there is no one problem or one solution, which is very true. There has to be some sort of solutions on multiple levels. If it's getting guns out of television or video games, we have to try it. If it's more mental health attention, we have to try it. If it's stricter gun controls, we have to try it. But for one group to stand it's ground (in this case gun owners) and say that guns aren't part of the problem is ridiculous. It's ridiculous how gun owners are saying people kill people, not guns kill people. Guess what those people use, GUNS! While stricter gun controls won't solve the issue, it has to be part of the solution in addition to the other aspects mentioned above.
flyoverland December 17, 2012 at 07:46 PM
It will be interesting to see if Obama focuses on the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, or the First Amendment rights of his Hollywood pals who make all these violent movies and games?
CreveCoeurDad December 17, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Neither should have their rights altered in any way. Millions own guns with no adverse consequences. Millions play violent video games with no adverse consequences. There is no organized assault on our schools, there only seems to be an organized assault on our freedoms - all in exchange for a little more "security" and a lot of money. Your child is 50 to 100 times safer in their school than they are in your car, and they spend a lot more time in school than in your car.
PaulRevere December 17, 2012 at 08:27 PM
If this country wants a trial run of Banning GUNS, Let it start at the MOVIES. Let's see if they really want Bans of weapons.
ReverePaul December 17, 2012 at 09:15 PM
so CreveCoeur Dad are you willing to just accept what happened on Friday because it's the price of our freedom? How many of those type of events is it going to take to bring some change because last time I checked, there has already been four "rampage" killings this year.
CreveCoeurDad December 17, 2012 at 09:39 PM
If I recall correctly, haven't all of them involved people with some sort of mental defect? Since there are far fewer people with mental defects than there are gun owners, perhaps you would support reopening all the mental institutions and warehousing those who might do us harm? And we could throw all those Muslims in there as well who seem to have a proclivity for terrorism. If not, why not? Doesn't your right to safety triumph the rights of others?
Jessie Hoagland December 17, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Schools are by far the safest places for children, so I hope parents push back on arming our schools. Besides, it's widely known that investing in preschool and positive parenting programs yield extra-ordinary returns on investment, and is a far better use of precious tax dollars. That's why Police Departments in worse parts of the country often champion quality preschool programs. As for me, doing nothing about the gun problem in America is no longer an option, and I'm willing to stand up and say if you publicly champion unrestricted rights to gun ownership, assault weapons specifically, you are causing the rest of us a world of heartbreak.
ReverePaul December 18, 2012 at 01:16 AM
CreveCouerDad I also noticed in all of those shooting the shooters with mental health issues had access to guns. What's the problem in passing a law that states any household who has a person with mental health issues shouldn't be allowed to have a firearm. But for you to say we should do nothing about these events is ridiculous.
ReverePaul December 18, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Since this is Obama's last term, he has nothing to be afraid of if he wants to go after his "Hollywood pals." That being said, I feel like Obama is going to feel more pressure to do something about guns.
CreveCoeurDad December 18, 2012 at 06:18 AM
"What's the problem in passing a law that states any household who has a person with mental health issues shouldn't be allowed to have a firearm." The problem is a little thing called the Constitution - the Supreme Court would likely find such a restriction unconstitutional under the Bill of Attainder clause, the Due Process clause, or the Freedom of Association clause, or all three. We don't deprive people of their constitutional rights because of who they associate with, we don't do it by legislative fiat, and we don't do it without a trial. Perhaps we discover that long ago, your grandfather stole some money, was never caught, but now he's dead - do we get to throw you in jail instead? I'm not saying that nothing can be done, but rather that every idea put forth so far is stupid at best and dangerous at worst. We don't even have the full story yet and everyone is out to place blame and curtail freedoms. Here's an interesting thought - what if nobody is to blame? What if we did everything right and it still happened? Are we doing something because it will prevent it from happening again or because doing something, even the wrong thing, makes us feel better than doing nothing?
CreveCoeurDad December 18, 2012 at 06:44 AM
Except that Head Start doesn't work and everyone, even liberals like Joe Klein, knows it. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2081778,00.html Here's the problem with targeting so-called assault weapons - they kill relatively few people. How few is difficult to know, since no one keeps statistics on them, but they are a form of rifle, and all rifles were used in 348 homicides in 2009 in the U.S. Assault rifles would make up a small fraction of that. By comparison, hands and feet (801) and blunt objects (611) were used in more murders in the U.S. The real killer - handguns at over 6,000. Newtown could have just as easily have happened with handguns, he was equipped with two, and lots of ammo. So why not ban handguns? Because you'd have absolutely no chance either constitutionally or with public opinion. Assault weapons make a good bad boy poster child, but are small fry in the homicide world. Banning them would have virtually zero effect in preventing mass homicides in a country filled with handguns.


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