Saturday, January 5, 2013

Are school resource officers the answer?

Bob Everett, a well-known member of the Dover community, suggested a few months ago to Dover’s Board of Education and City Council that the entities should combine forces to hire a school-based police officer to assist with security matters and protocol.

It’s not a bad idea really, but it came at a time when government was dealing with the financial squeeze brought on by the Great Recession. The idea was shot down with one politico calling it a “knee-jerk reaction” to the Chardon school shooting.

On his Facebook page and in the aftermath of the horrific school shootings in Newtown, Conn., Everett reiterated his call for a “school resource officer.”

“The more I watch the special reports from Connecticut, the more I realize I DID NOT have a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction after the Chardon incident last year,” Everett wrote.  
“I again renew my plea to Dover City Council and the Dover Board of Education to immediately hold discussions about a school resource officer. This is NOT a knee-jerk reaction but a request from someone who has been on both sides of the topic as a former member of the Board of Education and as a school resource officer (in Nevada).

“Before it's too late, it's time to set politics aside and consider the students, staff and visitors to the Dover City Schools. You will not be able to re-ring the bell...”

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with Facebook, all of Everett’s “friends” – he has hundreds – were subsequently “invited” to add their comments to what is commonly referred to as a “thread.” More than 100 Facebookers clicked the “Like” icon, while the thread featured more than 40 comments.

Those comments underscore the problem we have.

“Need one in all schools everywhere … sad our country has come to this,” said one.

Another said, “Bob your idea is outstanding but we should look at a countywide program for resource officers/prevention task force/and counseling. Our fire departments are a great example of this. We need to take a proactive approach from all directions in order to prevent things like this from happening.”

I couldn’t find a reasonable plan in the thread to pay for all these extra employees other than “cut some of the fat at the top.”

Sure, but “the fat at the top” is on the playground and doing lunch duty these days.
Yep, we need a proactive approach all right – from the federal top, starting with President Obama and our easily influenced Congress.

The first thing we need to do is determine what kind of country we want to be and accept some realities.

We have a gun problem in America.

We have a mental health problem.

And what about the violent video games that invite our troubled children into further isolation from society?

And the 24-hour cable news channels that pay special attention to the mass murderers who kill more innocents than the last one?

How do we protect ourselves and our children when we mix all of the above?

If the answer is a lot of school resource officers, I’m all for it. But I’m thinking we’re well beyond that point now.

I certainly don’t have the answers, but I’m ready to listen. I hope the rest of the country is ready, too.

Read more from Dick Farrell at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just this week an armed school resource officer ended a shooting in Atlanta,

I like what the current editor of the TR has to say: “Across the country, we are waking from our slumber. It’s time to do something. How many more Columbines, Chardons and Sandy Hooks will there be
before we realize our schools need more security? We owe it to our kids to provide them with the safest environment in which to learn.”

Apparently the Sandy Hook Board of Education gets it. They’ve asked for funding for four more armed resource officers.