Sheriff: Only officers should have guns in Alachua County schools

By

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.”

About Cameron Taylor

Cameron is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

Check Also

Two men arrested on charges related to running a human sex trafficking business in a Gainesville group home

Two men were arrested Tuesday and accused of running a human sex trafficking business in a Gainesville group home. The arrests happened at a Gate gas station on 3001 NW 13th Street at 4 p.m. The suspects' identities were confirmed as 20-year-old Kevarius Nyrtell King and 25-year-old Justin Terrel Hoyt. The victim was living in the Safe Hands Group Home, a housing service partnered with homeless shelters and co-owned by King since a little less than a year ago. The two men forced the victim into multiple sexual acts, sometimes without her consent, with dozens of men in the group home. Police were able to report the crime as the victim had told the staff at the Tower Road Branch Library that she was a victim of human trafficking and to alert the authorities. Through a search warrant of the group home, police were able to confirm the identities of King and Hoyt and later arrest and charge them with human sex trafficking. King and Hoyt are currently booked in the Alachua County Jail, each with release bonds set at $250,000.