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Police Chief Warns School Officials To Get Ready for Shootings

Kevin Killeen
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St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY–(KMOX)–Local school districts planning how to respond to school shootings get a warning from St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch — don’t plan forever.

“I don’t think we can study this to death,” Fitch said, “because I guarantee you there is somebody else out there right now trying to figure out how to do something bigger and badder than the last guy did in Connecticut, how to make a name for himself.”

Local districts participating in the Safe Schools Partnership gathered at Parkway for an exchange of ideas with police. Fitch says school officials are showing “very little interest” in his proposal made earlier this week to arm trained personnel to act as first responders to shootings.

“That just gives them kind of a sick feeling in their stomach to think that they would have their gym teacher, for example, trained and have a firearm available to him if he had to take some sort of action before law enforcement get on the scene.”

Fitch says districts agreed that they would like to see more St. Louis County Police school resource officers in schools. Currently, there are 33 officers spread out to cover area high schools, middle schools and grade schools. Fitch says if money were no object he would like to see “dozens more” available.

To pay for more school resource officers, two possible sources of revenue were discussed — restoring federal grants for the cops in schools program and seeking local tax hikes.

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