Mobile County Board Members Discuss Rearming Resource Officers

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – National conversations about putting guns in schools have made their way to Mobile County.

Some members of the Mobile County School Board want to rearm school resource officers.

Board members hope that will happen soon, with discussions underway now.

They all agreed that arming these officers is the next best step in keeping students safe.

District 3 board member Dr. Reginald Crenshaw says all options should be considered. It’s one of them.

“I have three grandchildren in the Mobile County public school system,” Dr. Crenshaw said. “I think about their safety. My heart was just broken with the elementary school incident there. So yeah, whatever it takes to keep them safe, so we have to think about that.

Dr. Crenshaw says that when it comes to safety, money shouldn’t be a barrier.

“We’re talking and I’m just estimating $2.5 million or $2.8 million a year to do what we need to do,” Dr Crenshaw explained. “But those lives are worth a hundred times more than that, an infinite number.”

After the tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas last month that left 19 students and 2 teachers dead, Dr. Crenshaw, a vocal advocate for guns in schools, had a change of heart.

“I totally disagreed with this about 4, 5 years ago when this came up. I have totally changed my mind in light of what has happened in schools around the world. Texas and other places where we need to provide a safer environment for our students,” he said.

He’s not the only one to think so.

Shanice Britto who has referrals in Mobile agrees.

“Honestly, I’m not against it. I think we should have done this a long time ago when this Sandy Hook situation happened,” Britto said. “Our children could not protect themselves. I have no children of my own but I have babies from God. I feel like they can’t protect themselves.

Mobile County’s public school system is the largest in the state, with over 50,000 students.

Some measures are already in place, including active shooter training, camera systems around campus and automated locks.

Chairman of the board, Dr William Foster, said that in his 30-year teaching career he had seen no problem when ORS were armed.

“In the past, I remember when our resource officers were armed. There were no serious issues resulting from the presence of an armed resource officer,” Dr. Foster said. “I think we have to do something and maybe we’ll find out which direction we have to go with this.”

But not all parents are in favor of guns on campus.

A mother who wanted to remain anonymous says it’s not the best solution.

“We place our trust and our faith in God, so we are not the ones to have guns,” she said. “Because we wonder why have something that could potentially take a life that we can’t replace.”

Unlike Baldwin County, Mobile County Public Schools do not have resource officers on every campus.

All ORS across the bay are armed.

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