Arming principals, assigning officers in schools discussed - News, Weather & Sports

Arming principals, assigning officers in schools discussed

Chief Steve Conrad answered questions Wednesday. Chief Steve Conrad answered questions Wednesday.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Police Department's Police Chief and a top Jefferson County Public School administrator went on the record about arming principals and assigning officers in every school.

During a lunch forum, Chief Steve Conrad and Chief Academic Officer Dewey Hensley answered two questions becoming more and more prevalent: just how feasible would it be to arm school personnel and is it realistic to place police in every school?

Chief Conrad didn't endorse either concept. "Our officers undergo six weeks of intense training - and even more time concentrating on use of deadly force. That's our expertise. Not necessarily theirs. There's no magic bullet, so to speak, for a solution to school violence. And putting a gun in a principal's hand is not something I would agree with," Conrad said.

Neither did JCPS administrator Dewey Hensley. "Making it a gun culture inside a school is not necessarily the thing we need to do," Hensley said.

When asked whether it's feasible to staff every school with a cop, Conrad said, "Right now we have 22 school resource officers. If you, just for the sake of easy math, took another 229 police officers and put them in schools - we're looking at about a $17 million price tag."

Conrad asked the crowd, "Whose neighborhood wants to give up their police officers and go to a school?"

"Just putting a cop or a security guard or a teacher in a school with a gun isn't going to make it safer - it's changing our culture," Chief Conrad said.

The Louisville Forum hosted the event. There weren't any JCPS or LMPD decisions made during January 9 forum.

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