A Washington school district took away the handguns of nine security guards before the start of the school year. Those guards now want their weapons back.
The News Tribune reports a hearing next month may decide whether the patrol guards who work for Tacoma Public Schools get their 9 mm Glocks.
Margaret Englund, the union representative for the patrol officers, who are part of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 286, says the officers are “ready to respond at any given moment to anything that’s happening at any one of the campuses. When they stripped them of that ability to provide that armed presence, we think that they really did a disservice to the community of Tacoma.”
District officials say if someone has to draw a gun at a school, they want it to be a Tacoma police officer.
Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com
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Creating and maintaining a safe learning environment
In Tacoma Public Schools safety and security are a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week practice. Our continuing goal is to provide our 28,000 students with a healthy learning environment both during school hours and at after school activities. We also offer our community the opportunity to safely watch and participate in various school athletic competitions and activities.
A layered approach to safety
There are several ways we work to maintain the safety of our schools. It begins with our teachers, administrators and staff, who foster a caring school community that values respect and trust between adults and students. We want all students to feel connected, understand what’s expected of them and receive any behavioral and mental health support they need.
Our safety and security programs include:
Campus Security Officers These uniformed Tacoma Public Schools employees promote lawful behavior and protect the welfare of our secondary school students, faculty and staff. Their consistent presence allows them to understand the rhythms of the building while developing strong relationships with students.
School Patrol Officers These uniformed Tacoma Public Schools employees work in partnership with the Tacoma Police Department, providing safety and security support across the district 24/7. They are in constant radio communication with the police department and respond to 911 calls related to our schools.
Tacoma Police Department School Resource Officers These on-duty armed and uniformed Tacoma Police Officers work full-time at each of Tacoma’s five comprehensive high schools as their regular position for the Tacoma Police Department. As part of our partnership with the Tacoma Police Department, these officers work to prevent and reduce crime, as well as foster a peaceful and respectful learning environment for all students.
Tacoma Police Department Officers These armed and uniformed Tacoma Police Officers work directly for Tacoma Public Schools when they are off-duty in their regular position for the Tacoma Police Department. They work in a variety of roles, including addressing truant students, doing welfare checks, and supporting any additional security needs.
Emergency Management Partnership Our strong partnership with the City of Tacoma and Pierce County Departments of Emergency Management assures that we are constantly assessing our ability to respond to any forms of disaster. Tacoma Public Schools personnel attend a monthly meeting with members of surrounding districts to assure that we are in a process of continuous improvement. We also review our school emergency procedures on an annual basis.