Ohio Police Department Offers To Add Armed Officers At Schools


UPDATED: Wednesday January 16, 2013 5:48 PM

A month after the deadly shootings at Sandy Hook elementary, President Obama is making recommendations to increase safety.

Some Ohio school districts are taking action of their own.

Nelsonville resident Stephanie Caplinger said she can't bear the thought of a scene like Sandy Hook playing out in the classroom of her 4-year-old son, Felix.

"I know there's a lot of people that say you don't fix guns with more guns, but I think you've just got to face the reality of the situation. It's there and I think we should do something about it,” said Caplinger.

Nelsonville Police chief Jason Wallace said he's trying to do something by putting an armed resource officer in the city's schools.

"To me, it's almost why wouldn't you have a peace officer there,” said Wallace.

Wallace said his two sons are students in a district that employs resource officers. He wants to see the same thing in Nelsonville.

"I truly believe the school would want it, the school board members would want it and every parent wants it,” he said.

Tri-County Career Center in Nelsonville is one school considering Wallace's proposal.

School officials said they are being proactive by looking at different ways to secure their building.

"Our hands are tied with money and available funds. Certainly, if the state of Ohio would come across with funds for a resource officer, we would certainly look at that very seriously,” said William Wittman, Tri-County Career Center Superintendent.

Wallace said he has also reached out to Nelsonville York City Schools about hiring an armed officer. He says with all grades on the one campus, they would only need to hire one officer.

Wallace said his plan would split the cost of the officer 75-25 between the school and police department.

“The school system would pay for the officer for nine months out of the year and us three,” said Wallace. "It's less on both parties and hopefully we can reach an agreement and get that officer in the school."

Both Nelsonville York Schools and Tri-County Career Center told 10TV they are only in the early stages of talks with Nelsonville police about hiring an officer.

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