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JCPS security concerns arise after armed man allegedly threatens school

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 9:05 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The police report describing the actions of an armed suspect at Greenwood Elementary Thursday has now been released.

Patrick Wesley, the report states, was armed with a gun, gave staff 10 minutes to get his child, pointed his gun at staff and tried to use his car to ram the doors of the cafeteria while children were inside.

The staff acted quickly, JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said Friday during a press conference, but the situation is reigniting concerns about school security.

Thursday, the JCPS Security and Investigations Unit was called, who in turn didn’t hesitate to call the Louisville Metro Police Department because the suspect had already shown his gun.

That was a critical detail, police sources close to the situation said, because JCPS Security is not allowed to be armed. Had they not known the suspect was armed, LMPD may not have been involved as quickly as they were.

Pollio said he continues to debate whether the district’s security force, made up of several former law enforcement, should have guns.

“We’ve continued to talk about this and talk about this so I can’t say right now, what, you know, my opinion of it is,” Pollio said.

WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters spoke to several current JCPS educators from different schools, including some principals who all said the same thing, that since the planning for the return of in person class amid the pandemic began, there have been no specific meetings or additional training specifically about school security.

“I can’t speak to each individual teacher and what they had or didn’t have,” Pollio said

Senate Bill 1, which passed in 2019, now requires schools across the state to have one armed School Resource Officer per school campus if funds are available.

Still, Pollio said, the district is in compliance. That has not happened at JCPS yet.

WAVE 3 News has submitted a number of questions to JCPS about the Security and Investigations Unit, its security training and how they have complied with the bill’s requirements. They did not respond in time by the time this article was published.

As for Wesley, court records show he had a criminal history that included domestic violence, terroristic threatening and menacing.

Now he faces new felonies associated with the school incident and was given a $500,000 bond.

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