Armed volunteers will soon be assuming the role of school resource officers in a few Stanly County, NC, schools. The school board voted unanimously to start the pilot program last month, following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The state law allowing armed volunteers was passed in 2013, but is only now being put to use. The program will be run by Sheriff George Burris.
“They’re going to be armed security,” Burris said. “They’ll be walking the halls, they’ll be mentoring our kids. They’ll be checking in with our faculty, our teachers, our principals. They’ll be walking through the parking lot looking for any suspicious activity our behavior. They’ll be attending lunch with the kids.”
So far, Burris said, 20 people have applied, but only three have met the requirements. Volunteers must be current or retired sworn law enforcement officers or former military police officers. The volunteers will have the same authority as school resource officers while they’re on campus.
“People just think we’re going to hand someone a handgun and put them in a school,” Stanly County Schools Superintendent Jeff James told WFAE radio. “That’s farthest from the truth that you can get.”
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