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School districts review security measures
Following the tragedy in Newtown nearly a month ago, school districts across the country are reviewing security measures at their schools. For a number of those districts, that means adding armed security guards.
This is happening at some larger districts out west. Districts in Los Angeles and Phoenix sent armed guards to their schools Monday when students headed back from holiday break.
Districts have spoken about the idea of armed guards at schools, but local districts say, no thanks.
"School safety is a high priority for every school," said Hastings Public Schools Superintendent Craig Kautz.
School safety concerns have heightened after the December 14th Sandy Hook Elementary School killings of 20 children and six teachers and administrators.
The National Rifle Association said armed personnel in schools would deter violence, but Craig Kautz, superintendent of Hastings Public Schools disagrees.
"I don't know if I'd advocate armed guards as much as I would say, in a perfect world an SRO in every building would be fantastic, but if we lived in a perfect world we wouldn't need an SRO in every building," Kautz said.
But those SRO's are needed.
"We don't necessarily have an armed guard or what we consider an armed guard, we have a school resource officer," said Kautz.
He's stationed at the high school, but also travels to other schools in the district as well.
"I think if schools have the funds to put a school resource officer in every single building, I think we would," said Kautz.
Hasting Police Chief Peter Kortum agrees.
"It's very beneficial to the schools and they're very appreciative of the work the officer does in the schools," said Kortum.
But having an armed officer in the schools doesn't always prevent tragedies from happening.
"When someone can purchase a weapon with that destructive force and noone in law enforcement really knows that's happening strikes me as something we need to be concerned about," said Kautz.
Chief Kortum says the decision of armed guards comes down to the community.
"As a police chief, we would be accepting to whatever level or changes in security that Hastings Public decided to go with," said Kortum.
The cost of the SRO officer is split between the school district and the police department.
That's also that case in Grand Island where they have 5 SRO's.
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