By Barbara Jones, LA Daily News | http://bit.ly/YSH2v7
04/02/2013 08:17:11 PM PDT :: Los Angeles Unified has hired more than 440 safety aides to provide security at local elementary schools, part of its plan to bolster campus safety in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, officials said Tuesday.
The district announced in January that it would spend about $4.2 million to hire 1,087 aides and assign two to patrol each of its 400-plus elementary schools. So far, 443 aides have been hired and assigned to 327 schools.
Officials could not immediately say Tuesday how many more will be hired or whether there's a timeline for bringing them aboard.
The district previously said the campus aides would be equipped with two-way radios and would work three hours daily, keeping an eye open for student conflicts, potential threats and other signs of trouble.
The plan was devised in response to the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 first-graders and six adults.
The district already had about 1,000 security aides assigned to its middle and high schools.
In addition, Los Angeles Unified's 350-member police force is assigned full time to every high school and also patrols K-8 schools on a daily basis.
After Sandy Hook, the Los Angeles Police Department beefed up patrols around local campuses and added walk-and-talk school visits to their duties. LAPD spokesman Richard French said Tuesday that program is still in force.
smf: I am a supporter of LAUSD’s School Police and also of the unarmed/unsworn/uniformed School Safety Officers. – trained professional full-time school resource officers dedicated to student, staff and school safety and protection.
I am wary of part-time 3-hour-a-day safety aides with walkie talkies, minimal training, a clipboard and a roll of stickers. The article above misses that the aides are assigned two-to-a-school – which adds to the protection I suppose – but diminishes the schools served: 400 aides serve 200 schools. LAUSD has 448 elementary schools.
If this is a genuine response to Sandy Hook and not a knee-jerk reaction consider this:
- Sandy Hook was a state of the art school in terms of security. It had closed circuit monitoring, locked entry doors, lock-from-the-inside classroom doors and a well rehearsed school safety plan coordinated with local law enforcement.
- The local police responded and were on-scene at Sandy Hook within two-and-a-half minutes of the shooter forcing entry by shooting his way in.
- In that 2½ minutes (150 seconds) the shooter – wearing body armor and armed with a semi-automatic rifle with 30 round magazines and a couple of handguns killed twenty kids, six adults and himself.
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