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.

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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. 

Karl Frank Jr. December 17, 2012 at 04:00 PM
The above was from a friend on Facebook...meant to quote it...
Brian Knight December 17, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Some schools in other states allow parents and grandparents to be on school grounds to provide protection. A volunteer force would cost the district nothing but some beverages, access to a restroom, a room, and maybe some wireless access. I work from home - if I could get an internet connection I would volunteer to go sit up at my son's school a day or two a week with other volunteers. However, this only works if the people volunteering to protect these students can be armed. CCW license, additional training as mandated by the district, etc. However, the bottom line is I'm willing to donate my time, and if necessary lay down my life to stop an armed criminal intent on doing harm to my loved ones. I'm proud to call that a "conservative value."
Gabrielle Biondo (Editor) December 17, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I have been watching numerous discussions and am interested in hearing what readers think about some of what I've heard: A discussion today.. it was about how we need to stop searching for answers on WHY the gunman killed people. He was a madman, and that is that. People who commit such crimes are sick people and that is what it is. We need to focus on protection because there will be more sick people committing more such crimes. Many people cite all these other countries who do arm people in their schools. They point out that there are mentally ill people in those countries too and those mentally ill people have access to guns, but school shootings don't happen there like they do here because students are protected by armed officials in their buildings. Chief Fitch also cited that info during his interview on this topic. He also said these people are essentially terrorists and the one goal of a terrorist is to accomplish their mission. If they feel they cannot complete their mission, which is a mass killing, it may act as a deterrent. What do you think? Is it time to arm school officials or does that put guns in the hands of someone in the school building who could be just as dangerous?
RUTH ROEDEL December 17, 2012 at 10:41 PM
i don't think we need to put any more guns anywhere because if we arm school officials where has some of the innocence of growing up gone and who is to say a student wouldn't discovered it and cause chaos to put a loaded weapon even in a lock box is looking for trouble big time in a school sitting-i would have no problems with more police officers and even volunteers at school patroling hallways would be a better choice but no more guns-please!!!!!!!!
harley December 18, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Gabrielle, If I couldn't trust a teacher that has been properly traind and vetted with background cheks to carry a gun to protect my children, I don't think I could trust that teacher period. Who would you rather have looking over your children? A teacher who had one background check 20 yrs ago prior to employment, or one with a ccw that gets a background check every day? Not shure how your state does it, but most states do daily background checks on ccw holders.
harley December 18, 2012 at 02:07 AM
you do realize that more police and volunteers patroling hallways without guns whould just be more targets right? It's not like teachers will sling an AR over their shoulder, they would be concelaed and nobody but school officials will know who is carrying or not. My kid knows I carry every day, she has not lost any innocence or youth, she just knows not to stick her hand in my pocket, and which leg to sit on when she sits on my lap.
Laura December 18, 2012 at 02:07 AM
that would be great. Hate to say it, but guns arent going to disappear. No matter how many laws you have banning it. At least if teachers have a way to actually defend the kids, they won't sit in a room filled with fear. With children crying because they know no one will really be able to defend themselves against the shooter.
KarlJ December 18, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Think of the lives that could have been saved if a competent person(s) had been armed in that school. Lets be very clear and realistic, guns are not going anywhere. Its as much a right as speech and religion and is necessary for the defense of life. Making something illegal doesn't make it unavailable. People have developed such a hate for guns they take a blind approach to gun violence. I don't really need to argue my side with a bunch of statistics and I don't care to hear the opposing. When you have a sucidial maniac set on inflicting unthinkable horror you want to protect the children with volunteer hall monitors? I'm sorry but if I have the choice my kids are going to a school with armed competent person(s). I don't live in some fantasy picture perfect world where everybody is of sound mind, where no one ever breaks laws or no one could/would ever obtain something that was illegal. I Live in the real world with real problems with people pushing solutions that don't work. In my world sometime you have to take a life to save life(s). But oh-no we can't talk about that, well just keep pushing the same failed policys and when the next tragedy strikes well all breath a sigh of relief that it wasn't us. You opponents should be ashamed of yourselvs. Your ideas have failed the to save the innocent from madmen with wicked, lawless intent. God bless those children, god bless the victims and god bless their families.
Kare December 18, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Yes! A plan that makes sense. In Pearl Mississippi a 16 year old shooter was stopped by a school official who happened to have a .45 in his vehicle. He was stopped after killing several at the high school and before he was able to move on to the middle school to complete his plan. In Connecticut the shooter had TEN MINUTES before the first armed responder arrived. When he heard the sirens he took his life. These creeps have just enough sense to choose target with no armed defenders. That needs to change. And by the way, "manliness of owning guns???" I'm a little old white grandmother who owns several guns and would gladly volunteer to go through the background checks and training in order to provide volunteer security at schools. Let's roll ladies!
Jeff December 18, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Why don't these wack jobs pull this kind of stuff in a police station? Because there are guns there. Quit making this about guns an start protecting are children. Chief Fitch I salute you an respect your decision.
harley December 18, 2012 at 05:15 AM
God Bless you Kare! It bothers me too when people associate guns with lack of manliness. To them I reply: I don't carry a gun to make me feel like a man. I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love. I don't carry a gun because I feel inadequate. I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate...
Karl Frank Jr. December 18, 2012 at 05:20 AM
I think some people have guns because they like to hunt. I think other people have guns because of irrational fears and they are bad at probability and statistics, or at least have a hard time over-coming the fact that they increase their chances of dying by a gun by 20 x's by owning one as opposed to the chances that they would ever actually have to use one in self-defense. Take the Mehlville School District for example, 10,000 students and 1200 employees. 1200 guns in school? No thank you. That's just nuts. There has never been a school shooting as long as a full-time armed security guard or police officer was on site. It's as simple as that. Let the teachers teach and the security forces secure. Most importantly, give them both the money needed to do their jobs most effectively.
Jim Nolan December 18, 2012 at 05:41 AM
I grew up with guns, and unless you've enjoyed the sport, you will never understand.
harley December 18, 2012 at 05:50 AM
I have no problem with armed security, or police being at a school, the problem lies in funding. Many teachers want to carry to protect themselves and their students and aren't requiring any additional funding. My question is what is the hang up with civilians carrying? what makes an armed security guard any different than an armed teacher. Both would have gone through rigorous training and background checks. Obviously any teacher that would CHOSE to carry ( not all 1200 of them will more like 2-3) would need training above and beyond that of your avg. CCW'r. Another down side of a security guard, is he would be a target. If they know he's the only one, they shoot him as they walk in and then again have free range. If nobody knows which teacher is carrying, that would cause alot of unknowns for someone who is wanting to cause mayhem and they would most likely move on.
Gabrielle Biondo (Editor) December 18, 2012 at 06:11 AM
Chief Fitch said his proposal to arm school officials also about funding. He said the elementary schools cannot afford the armed resource officers (maybe bc there are so many elementary schools) like the high schools, so that's one of the reasons he's suggesting training school staff and arming them.
Scott December 18, 2012 at 07:59 AM
I believe it's time to be proactive instead of reactive, we need to get our head out of the sand and come to grips with the fact that we live in a very violent world where anything is possible ( how much more evidence do we need to relize this? ). I think the idea of trying school staff and putting them through the proper training to Carry Concealed Weapons is a concept that I support. What's that saying? "Never show up to a gunfight with a knife?" We'll, as it stands now, we don't even have a knife!
Scott December 18, 2012 at 08:00 AM
Sorry meant to say "training"
Ted Zielinski Jr December 18, 2012 at 01:25 PM
I will never understand how someone could just go and kill children. If the school staff had been armed the shooter wouldn't have killed soo many or none. I see no reason why the staff shouldn't be able to protect the children, just look at how many lost there lifes trying to protect them without a weapon and IF they were armed things might have worked out different with less dying or possibly none other the the crazy shooter. Its time to think safty for the children and teachers too.
Asher selindh December 18, 2012 at 02:06 PM
When Giving School officials Fire Power, Please make sure they are Fully automatic weapons, This will ensure They do not Miss!
Asher selindh December 18, 2012 at 02:09 PM
I salute You your salute!
Ronald Beatty December 18, 2012 at 03:09 PM
You have never been to a car show have you? I care that there is a sociopathic fascination with cars and violence embedded in our mainstream culture. I give you the CAR CHASE.
Ronald Beatty December 18, 2012 at 03:12 PM
There are a boat load of Vets out there who are trained.
Ronald Beatty December 18, 2012 at 03:17 PM
We are seeing time and time that this is a Mental Health Issue and the reluctance of Mental Health Professionals to report, as required by federal law, those that may be a danger to you or themselves.
James Lester December 18, 2012 at 03:27 PM
An armed populace serves as a fundamental check on the powers enumerated to the Federal, state, and local governments. Without them we are sheep. It confuses my why the number of guns seems to bother you. That was no factor in the attacks. Or why you take issue with the idea that one could enjoy owning firearms. Or how you see an inanimate object as the source of all evil. That's stupidity. Man is to blame.
Chad DeVries December 18, 2012 at 04:45 PM
If you are naive enough to think that a child's innocence will be lost due to being in a school armed with teachers or security guards you need to step back and realize this isn't 1950. I think Israel is a good example of what to do. They have been attacked numerous times and now teachers carry guns. Yes, this isn't the Middle East but guess what, these incidents aren't going to go away and they are only going to get worse. The largest attack on a school was not done by firearms but by explosives, and while most people were paying attention to what happened here there was an attack in China the same day. In that incident a 36 year old man wounded 22 kids, 2 seriously, with a knife.
Asher selindh December 18, 2012 at 06:47 PM
We will all need to have bullet proof vests and fire arms that way no one will get hurt, if we do nothing we need to at least remove the cause and ignore the symptoms,that way we can always find someone to blame anyone that is except ourselves, Man the torpedo's
Cynthia C. December 19, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Yes, It is not only guns but other weapons that have killed innocent people/children all over the world. Yes, it makes sense that if some teachers are trained and carry weapons, there would be an unknown factor that could thwart people with malicious intentions. However, allowing firearms inside the schools opens up another can of worms. What happens if a student or a fellow school employee learns where the weapons are being kept in the school, and uses that information in order to cause harm? - a disgruntled employee, a mentally fragile student? There isn't an ideal answer to this problem. Knee-jerk reactions are not what we need. Just throwing this out there, but what about teaching school staff and students self-defense? That would help fulfill PE requirements and it would at least give somewhat a sense of power. At least they wouldn't all feel so helpless. And maybe as a group they could thwart an attacker. Of course, they would need to be taught that they should use these skills cautiously.
Claire Chosid December 19, 2012 at 11:26 PM
I grew up in a family of hunters. My grandfather, father, siblings, spouse and children handle guns safely and enjoy the sport of shooting clays, target practice and duck hunting. My daughter had a sports scholarship and was on the woman's rifle team at University of Nebraska. She and my husband have won many awards through the sport of rifle shooting. I would hope, that if I were in a shopping mall in Portland, or a movie theater, or a college campus or a City Hall meeting, and a madman started shooting, I was accompanied by a person with a conceal and carry permit. A little known fact is this: an off-duty security guard (who was shopping with a friend) at the mall in Portland had a legal conceal/carry permit. He aimed his weapon at the mall shooter, but didn't fire because he saw a shopper directly behind the murderer. At that point, the shooter took his own life. Two people were killed, the cops hadn't reached the killer before he took his own life. It could have been much worse. There is no one solution to "cure" this horrific stream of violence. But, if armed sharpshooters guarded our schools, would that be enough of a threat to halt this insanity? It's worth a strong discussion.
just4fun March 08, 2013 at 05:28 PM
I find this funny Mr. Frank as I have seen you at a local Gun Show.
Karl Frank Jr. March 08, 2013 at 05:33 PM
LOL. I don't know who you think you saw...but it wasn't me.


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