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Arnold Police Chief Says Guns Do Not Belong in School

A nervous Patch parent asks if violence could break out at Fox while Superintendent Critchlow says schools are very safe.

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting, some members of the Missouri legislature are proposing that teachers be allowed to carry concealed weapons. In St. Louis County, Police Chief Tim Fitch made headlines when he suggested that teachers be allowed to carry guns. St. Louis County school officials weren't on board with the idea.

Here in Arnold, Police Chief Robert Shockey agrees that guns are a bad idea in schools.

"My opinion is teachers should not be armed," he told Patch. "I don't believe they are trained to handle that."

Shockey's greatest concern was that if someone did threaten a school, he could end up with 20 scared--and armed--teachers trying to protect their students with disastrous results.

"How do the police tell the good guys from the bad?" he asked.

Tight Security

The Fox School District tightened their security measures this week, locking down all exterior doors to school building once the students are inside. Signs are posted on the school doors instructing visitors to call the office to be allowed inside.

Superintendent Dr. Dianne Critchlow said that parents don't mind the new procedure.

"Parents are very understanding and frankly pleased doors are locked. I have not had one negative email. I have received dozens of positive," she told Patch in an email. She said the board is expected to approve a buzzer system for the building in January. In the meantime, staff must open the doors for visitors.

She said the school is having a safety summit one night in January to talk to parents. The district has already talked to the Arnold Police about school security.

Rumors Fly Between Students

However, the heightened police presence at schools has sparked fear and rumors of more school violence among the students. One Patch reader informed us that his children thought the police had come to arrest a student for bringing a gun to school.

Critchlow assured Patch that no one has tried to bring a weapon to school.

Arnold police said they are following up on any rumors of school violence, but so far they are just that--rumors.

"We have a School Resource Officer there everyday," said Major Nick McBroom. He said that SRO officers are assigned to both district high schools and the middle schools. Their jobs are to provide a positive police presence in the schools and to handle disturbances.

Michelle Bonebrake December 21, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Thank you, Chief Shockey, for having and using common sense. I wish more of your counterparts were so level-headed. Keep up the good work.
Matt Hay December 21, 2012 at 05:25 PM
How can the police tell the good guys from the bad? It is called 1) Making them participate in shoot house simulations, real ones, not "Hogans Alley" on a TV screen, and 2) making officers qualify more than the once or twice a year. Sadly, I would wager the average firearms enthusiast is more proficient with a firearm than most officers under his command (with exception). If his officers are so poorly trained in threat identification and tactical entry, that he believes that 26 slaughtered is a better outcome than the alternative, that is definitely a failure in leadership. That is why St. Louis County Chief Fitch holds the opposite view, but then again, Fitch also admits Red Light and Speed Cameras are a scam intended to turn citizens into cash registers. While Shockey will admit the cameras were solely political in private, I wish he had the integrity and fortitude to admit it publicly.
Shaun Missey December 21, 2012 at 05:58 PM
I agree with Bob and Al. When Shockey says "how does the police tell the good guys from the bad." How do we tell the good cops from the bad cops? If Shockey and his police force can carry guns and be trained professionals, what makes him think that the teachers and principals can't be trained professionals? PTP - Promote Gun Safety, Train Gun Control and Protect our children. "Gun Free Zones" are "Suicide Zones"
Juanita Stephens December 22, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Mr Mount, I agree with you what makes the Chief think the teachers are not as smart as Arnold PD. He does know that the doors to Sandy Hook were locked and had cameras, and he still got in. God forbid we would have anything happen here at Fox. We can not always protect everyone but the shame is not being prepaired. Never again!
Sargesgiftshop.com December 23, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Remember my friends: Disarming Innocent People, Does Not Protect Innocent People.

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