Scott asked to find money for putting officers in elementary schoolsby John Kennedy | December 21st, 2012
Florida’s elementary schools should have a police officer on hand to ward against the threat of violence, a state lawmaker told Gov. Rick Scott in a letter Friday.
Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, asked the governor to expand the presence of middle- and high-school resource officers to include all elementary schools, a move prompted by last week’s killings of 26 people, including 20 students, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“Although there are no guarantees, it is quite possible that the mere presence of a law enforcement officer on campus may be enough of a deterrent to curb or totally prevent school-based violence,” Fasano told Scott. “While this no doubt will be an expensive proposition, no price tag can be placed on the lives of the precious children our public schools are entrusted with each and every day of the school year.”
Fasano’s letter came only hours before Wayne LaPierre, executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association, also called for having an armed, law-enforcement presence in every American school. LaPierre condemned calls for restricting guns as wrongheaded.
“Politicians pass laws for gun-free school zones, they issue press releases bragging about them … in doing so they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk,” said National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at a press conference in Washington, D.C.
Scott’s office did not immediately respond to Fasano’s letter. While some elementary schools may already have school resource officers, Fasano estimated that his proposal could cost as much as $180 million annually.
“Certainly, we can find the dollars in a $70 billion state budget,” Fasano said.