Wake officials forming school security task force

khui@newsobserver.comFebruary 5, 2013 

— Wake County school board chairman Keith Sutton announced Tuesday that he’s creating a new task force, co-chaired by Sheriff Donnie Harrison and retired Raleigh Police Capt. Al White, that will review school safety in the district.

Sutton said that the task force will conduct a comprehensive review of school district safety and security plans and within 90 to 120 days come up with recommendations to improve campus safety. The task force is being created in the aftermath of the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in which a gunman killed 20 children and six school employees.

“I’m certain through this effort that Wake County schools will be better prepared,” Sutton said.

The move comes after Wake school security staff conducted a review that recommended placing an unarmed security officer at all 105 elementary schools. After facing criticism from some who felt the proposal went too far and others who thought it didn’t do enough, the school board pulled the contract off the Jan. 22 meeting agenda.

Sutton said that the task force will have 15 to 20 members. He said the task force will focus on the areas of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

Every Wake high school and most middle schools have an armed school resource officer provided by local law enforcement. But there are no armed officers at elementary schools, just unarmed ones at a few of them.

Hui: 919-829-4534

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