Does the presence of law enforcement officers on campus act as a deterrent?

The obvious answer is yes. Just seeing a uniformed police officer on campus and his/her patrol vehicle is enough to put your mind at ease – or on the flip side – make you nervous. Now-a-days, officers can be seen standing in a gym during a basketball game or on a field during football or baseball. It’s currently a natural view.

Supporters argue that it’s is a public safety measure and helps handle threats
Who are we to impede upon a school or its district if they want to allow police officers (retired or off-duty) to legally carry a firearm with the intent to protect students on school campuses?

Opponents say that this would increase the likelihood of a fatal situation
Even when schools have on-duty officers, school shootings are still happening. Does it lessen the chance that more harm can come by having an officer on campus – maybe – maybe not. Perhaps their presence creates unintended consequences like suspensions, expulsions, and arrests – particularly for people of color.

To be clear, school resource officers are sworn police officers and not security guards. There are conflicting studies that show the effectiveness of police on school campuses. But make no mistake – the job is critical in securing the safety of staff, students, campus visitors, and communities as whole.

They are there to help – not to hinder.

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