Sheriff responds to NRA statements about police in schools

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The National Rifle Association announced Friday that they felt there should be armed officers in every school. However, the feasibility of it may not be possible for every school.

"That would be the best thing that could possibly happen," Craighead County Sheriff, Jack McCann told Region 8 News. He said doing so would do one of two things, deter criminals or give the school a fighting chance.

"People who do that kind of thing do not want to deal with an armed officer," McCann said. But if they did, an officer on hand would help get the situation under control.

"Their responsibility is to go to the problem and deal with it. If that's an active shooter or whatever," he said.

Talk of arming schools with officers came after the Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association said that this needs to happen now. Wayne LaPierre added that the NRA would be willing to help schools that were interested.

"The NRA is going to bring all its knowledge, all its dedication, and all its resources to develop a model National School Shield Emergency Response program for every single school in America that wants it," LaPierre said.

Former Arkansas Congressman, Asa Hutchinson would head that effort.

"We all understand that our children should be safe in school, but it is also essential that the parents have confidence in that safety. As a result of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, that confidence has been shattered. Assurance of school safety must be restored with a sense of urgency," Hutchinson said during the press conference.

Though he likes the idea, McCann said the problem boils down to money.

"Cost is always going to be the factor," he said. Especially for the smaller schools in Craighead County.

"I hope and wish that that could happen...and maybe it will. I don't know what the President and Congress have in mind," McCann said, "but funding that officer for each school would be a fantastic thing. I mean, that's what they should do."

McCann says adding a deputy sheriff to a school would cost roughly $50,000 dollars a year. That deputy would work as an SRO during the school year and work for the county during the summer.

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