Kentucky lawmaker urging for more security in schools

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A Kentucky lawmaker is calling for more security in schools across the Commonwealth because of the Connecticut school shootings.

State Rep. Richard Henderson of mount sterling wants every school to have armed officers and metal detectors.

"What happened in Connecticut was just heart wrenching," Representative Henderson said.

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary Richardson said the time is now to talk about school safety while everyone is talking about it.

"We may not be able to stop everything, but maybe we can prevent or stymie a similar event(s) in the future by taking action now," he went on to say.

He is proposing a school resource officer in every one of Kentucky's 1,245 public schools. He says part of a task force he is hoping to put together will also consider other safety measures, including metal detectors.

"It may seem bold and carry a hefty price tag, but there shouldn't be a price on our kids safety," said Henderson.

The director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety, Jon Akers, says of the 1,245 public schools in the state, 221 of them currently have on-site school resource officers.

"Not just for safety, but also for relationships between the officers and students...I strongly advocate we put an officer in every single school in the state," Akers said.

What he says is less likely to happen, is getting a bill passed that would include metal detectors in every school.

"Unfortunately the cost would be great and detectors create a false sense of security," he explained.

However he says, Representative Henderson is starting the conversation and that's what is important.

"Our schools are safer than they've ever been in Kentucky," he said. "But I imagine they will be even safer in the coming years from the lessons we will learn in the wake of last weeks tragedy at Sandy Hook."

Representative Henderson says his bill is subject to change. He is hopeful it will at least create discussion among other lawmakers on the issue of school safety.

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