Virginia School District Adds Armed Guards
A school district in Virginia has approved and implemented armed guards on its campuses.
- By Sydny Shepard
- October 22, 2018
A Virginia school district will now have armed security officers after the school board voted unanimously voted to authorize and hired 12 new security officers to carry firearms.
Fauquier County Public Schools and county officials agreed earlier this year to add the positions after the Parkland Shooting in February.
We are doing more because we recognize there is truly a need," Duke Bland said. "Through the hard work and dedication of everyone here... we are making it safer for our teachers, staff and students."
Since May, the local sheriff's department has helped to fill seven of the 12 new security officer positions. Five of the newly hired officers already work in elementary and high schools, with two mew starting on Nov. 1.
"Our hopes are that we will have the remaining five filled by the end of the year, if not, then the beginning of next year," Human Resources Director Janelle Downes said.
A committee of two school administrators and two sheriff's office employees have interviewed security officer candidates, all of whom has law enforcement experience.
“I’m proud of the fact that we are not trying to hurry through this,” Superintendent David Jeck said. “Our approach is to get quality folks, with a law enforcement background, with spotless records. We are certainly happy to take our time and get to that place rather than trying to hire people quickly.”
The total annual cost of the 12 new armed officers is estimated to be around $1.2 million, including $265,834 in startup costs. A state grant will help fund the positions.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.