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Sheriff: Only officers should have guns in Alachua County schools


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Since Friday’s shooting in Newtown, Conn., lawmakers and residents across the country are bringing up the issue of gun control in schools. The tragedy has school and law enforcement officials reconsidering safety plans for emergencies.

Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell said her office will be working even closer with Alachua County public schools after meeting with Superintendent Dan Boyd.

“One of our priorities in 2013 is an emphasis on safety for our children in our schools. We have a very productive and ambitious plan to work on during the first part of the year,” Darnell said. “It builds on a good commitment of high security, good collaboration among our law enforcement and school personnel.”

Darnell said safety procedures are already in place at schools, and 14 of Alachua County’s public schools have resource officers.

“Drills and training and sharing information and communicating risk assessment among our (sheriff’s office) staff and school staff has been going on for years.”

Sheriff Darnell said she would like to increase the number of resource officers in schools if there are adequate funds.

The discussion of safety in schools has also brought up the issue of gun control. While some are advocating for school administrators to become armed, Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell said guns belong in the hands of law enforcement.

“Law enforcement goes through a tremendous level of training, so right now I’m comfortable only with law enforcement at this point having operation and control of guns in the school.”

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