CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - What is the best way to keep students safe in school? That's the question being asked across the nation, as school shootings continue to happen.
Chesterfield Public Schools put together a task force to try and find the best solution. Now, they have a proposal to put an "Armed Security Mentors" in every elementary school.
Chesterfield already has school resource officers (SROs) at every middle and high school. This proposal will put an armed staff member at every elementary school in case of a tragedy.
"We're just examining the big picture at this point," said Safety and Security Manager Donald Green.
Green is a part of a working group for the Chesterfield School Safety Task Force, looking into security operations for the schools.
Last week, they presented a proposal to put armed security mentors in their elementary schools.
"A retired police officer who can be armed security, so that if the worst case scenario happens, we have immediate response there on site," said Green.
These armed security mentors would be retired law enforcement officers, employed part-time by the school. That's different from SROs, who work for Chesterfield Police.
Green says they don't see a need to put SROS in elementary schools.
"Their responsibility is to enforce the law, among other things. There's not much need for much enforcement in elementary schools," said Green.
While the armed security mentor will be there to respond to tragedies, their primary responsibility is to mentor children in need.
Chesterfield already has one unarmed retired police officer who works in an elementary school as a mentor.
"He is working with the children who have, quite frankly, a lot of issues in their family life and outside," said Green.
While the details of the proposal are not ready yet, they have one goal in mind.
"To make a better school environment and better community environment for those children," said Green.
This proposal is still in the early stage of planning. They hope to have it ready by the end of the summer.
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