NRA: We need officers at every school

Houston-area schools: NRA plan challenging with tightening budgets

Published On: Dec 21 2012 07:26:08 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 21 2012 07:28:59 PM CST
HOUSTON -

The National Rifle Association announced a proposal Friday that sparked a lot of debate.

It was their first response following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut that left 26 children and staff members dead.

In the plan, Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called on Congress to act to put armed police officers in every school in the United States.

District officials for many Houston-area schools said the NRA plan would prove challenging with tightening budgets.

"We've been stretched the last few years," said Houston Independent School District spokesperson Jason Spencer.

Spencer said about 200 armed officers with the district's police force cover 279 campuses.

"We assign at least one full time police officer at every middle and high school in HISD," Spencer said.

But Spencer also said officers are not stationed at the elementary schools, but they do periodically patrol those areas. Spencer said the officers the NRA wants on all campuses would double the district's police department budget.

"You'd be looking at another additional 10 to 12 million dollars per year," said Spencer.

Fort Bend ISD, Alief ISD and Pasadena ISD officials said they follow a similar policy as Houston ISD for positioning officers from their own police departments at the high school and junior high schools. Channelview ISD officials said they contract out to Harris County Precinct 3 Constables for that same type of security.

In the wake of the Connecticut shooting, Alvin ISD officials said they have added patrols at the elementary schools. However, officials there also said officers stationed at every school, all day, all year would be hard to fit into the budget.

Some parents said it still must be a top priority.

"I believe that they should have security all the way around, all year round. Even summer, even with the cost," said Jesse Alba.