“I cannot imagine raising my right hand and being sworn in to protect and serve the community and not being armed to do that.” That’s a small part of what NASRO executive director Mo Canady shared with WYPR’s On the Record this morning.
Mo explained that a Maryland state law the prohibits Baltimore City School Police officers from carrying firearms on campus when students are present creates a disconcerting situation that is very unique in school policing. “If we get to that point, where shots are fired,” Mo continued, “we as SROs need to go direct to that threat and to do what we have to do to stop it.”
Mo also discussed many other school policing issues, including the necessity of specialized training and careful selection. “This is an interesting balance of a person that we’re looking for, because it’s gotta be a person that can have a soft enough edge to be in the middle of doing some informal counseling with a student, or even going into a classroom to help educate student on law-related issued, and then at the flip of a switch, be the best possible tactical officer that the department has to offer, to protect students,” Mo explained. “In situations where police are placed in schools and it’s not done properly, there’s probably more arrests than we need in that situation. That’s the reason this has to be done the right way. It has to be the right people. It has to be the right foundation for it to be effective.”