Elizabethtown High School to add armed resource officer in Septe - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Elizabethtown High School to add armed resource officer in September

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There will soon be someone carrying a gun at Elizabethtown High School. There will soon be someone carrying a gun at Elizabethtown High School.

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- There will soon be someone carrying a gun at Elizabethtown High School.

Principal Steve Smallwood says there wasn't one particular incident at the school that led the district to add a school resource officer. He just says it’s to keep the kids safe.

"Those types of situations can happen at any school, any community, at any time," Smallwood said, referring to one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

On Dec. 14, 2012, police say Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and shot and killed 20 kids and six staff members.

"It kinda brought a lot of things to the surface," said Smallwood.

That’s why his school added 22 security cameras covering the main entrance, gym and hallways. And the school now requires every guest to check in with the receptionist.

"In the past -- our office door -- you can walk freely in and out of it,” said Smallwood. “After Sandy Hook we put in another safety measure where you have to be buzzed in to get into our office."

That's not the only safety measure. The school board recently approved a new resource officer role to be filled by a retired Elizabethtown Police officer.

The officer will be hired by the police department, but whomever is chosen will carry a weapon and have the same power as any other police officer. Hardin County Schools already has one, but this will be the first for the Elizabethtown Independent District.

"I think every school should have a school resource officer,” Smallwood said. “It's all about protecting our students and protecting everyone in our building."

He says the only time they've had to call police was for a couple of incidents involving drugs, but nothing major.

"I feel very safe here," said junior Melissa Morgan who is all for the new hire.

"I like that a lot," she said. It's very much relieving because it's just saying that if that did happen -- we have a police officer already there."

The new resource officer will work nine months out of the year, from Sept. through May, when school is in session. The officer's salary will be paid for by the city and police department.

"It's gonna be neat for kids to have that positive role model that they're going to see in a police uniform and be able to interact with on a daily basis and understand that the police are here to help them," said Smallwood.

The new school resource officer will start on Sept. 1.

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