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Elementary School Security: Should It Be Increased?

In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy, some local law enforcement agencies are beefing up patrols at elementary schools. We want to hear from you Tampa Bay on whether this is a good idea or not?

On a crisp December Friday, a lone gunman walked onto an elementary school campus in Newtown, Conn., and began a rampage that would ultimately end the lives of 20 children, all between the ages of 6 and 7, and seven adults – himself included.

As the grim news unfolded, people across America sat glued to the latest media reports on the internet and television. Most asked why this happened. Some desperately sought answers to the question of how such a shooting could occur in the first place. Sanity questions aside, they wanted to know how a gunman could get onto a secured campus and wreak such havoc.

That’s the question local law enforcement seems to have been wrestling with, as well.

As law enforcement continues to unravel the details of Friday’s massacre, officers in some local counties aren’t taking any chances. The Hillsborough and Pasco County Sheriff’s Offices and the Tampa Police Department have announced increased patrols at local elementary schools. Other Bay area agencies haven't announced their plans.

Some parents are applauding the decision. Others are saying it’s not necessary.

“There is no threat and all the hype won't make a difference,” said Fern, a Brandon Patch reader, on a story about the increased patrols. “Then it will all die down people will revert to what they always do and then unfortunately some crazy person will strike again.”

Here’s what we’d like to get your opinion on Tampa Bay: What steps do you think should be taken to prevent such a tragedy from happening here? Do you think it’s time for elementary schools to have their own school resource officers like middle and high school campuses have in many counties? Do you think enough is being done already? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

melissa December 20, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Exactly! We want a change at our schools yesterday! It is not ok to ignore this or wait for us to analyze the mental illness polices or gun control policies....are children's safety should be addressed now. This is happening in large schools, small schools, kids brining guns to school because they feel scared, kids not attending schools due their or their parents fear or concerns. Get vocal people, its your children, grandchildren and there is no substitute for safety at our schools. At my local schools I have witnessed several lax policies and although there may be heightened awareness now, what about in January when the kids return? We need to ask for a change that will stick.
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Lucas, you couldn't ever cover all the soft targets. And by the time someone is alerted, if they come in shooting, many are dead anyway. Eliminate the weapons that have repeat fire capabilities. A small handgun or a shotgun for hunting is what weapon control should allow. Do you really think a buglar is going to come into your home by the dozen so that you need an assault weapon?? In your theory, how could they have cops with guns in a school, courtroom or airport?? Same bells and whistles would go off. Come on Lucas, THINK
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 05:05 PM
An emergency button would not have helped these kids. We need to secure the schools with bullet - proof windows and doors. We also need to have one way open for in and out with a policeman on guard at the door with a repeat-fire gun like the weapon used on these kids, so if there is an intruder, he or she can be pumped up with bullets just like those six and seven year olds. Metal detectors should be in a hallway just outside the main door and an emergency response lock on the door in case the metal detector goes off. We owe this much to our children. To society, we owe the police every advantage. They need to have laws that allow them to be pro-active as many gun-toters will give you the argument that police are only there after the fact. That's because they don't have any laws that will help them to remove these guns BEFORE THE FACT. NRA's method does not work and NRA is a minority with all the rights. A shotgun for hunting and a small non-repeat handgun for an individual. And not multi-guns of any kind to one person. Want to collect guns?? Good go live somewhere else, because we are tired of the way things are being run now. IT WILL CHANGE!
Sandi December 26, 2012 at 05:10 PM
DAN, you need to advsertise on the advertising site. not here. it's not apropriate!
dan December 27, 2012 at 03:33 AM
I am not advertising. I am not asking for money to put anything in schools just resources if you want them. I have now created a network of like minded parents. For free. Sorry if it was not clear in on the website. If you checked the site we are simply trying to answer questions people may have. I have a full time job and just doing this with my wife but it has grown. Free speech I think it is that covers this. Trying to empower others that there are options. The NRA suggestion, if you look, does not call for guns in schools. It is asking to create a security template but if you watch the speech and not "Code Pink" protest they stated if you do not want guns, you do not need them. Just make sure your school is safe. Funding is at an all time low..do you think Gates and electronic entry are too high on the list? Nope. However, if you ask for change on the local level it might bubble up, and if not, then it does not. I am just being a voice...

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