AirTalk for August 29, 2014

Should Compton campus police officers carry semi-automatic rifles?

Stuart Palley/ KPCC

The Compton School board's decision to allow campus police officers to carry AR-15 semi-automatic weapons on campus is raising concerns for parents.

A Compton School board member wants the district to reverse its decision to allow campus police officers to carry AR-15 semi-automatic weapons. When school was out-of-session this summer, the Compton Unified School District Board passed the new policy. Compton Unified Police Chief, William Wu, says the wish to arm campus police with such weapons is for safety reasons in case of a terrorist attack or mass shooting.

In a recent statement, Wu added, “These rifles give us greater flexibility in dealing with a person with bad intent who comes onto any of our campuses. The officers will keep the rifles in the trunks of their cars, unless they are needed. It should also be pointed out that many other community and school law enforcement departments already have these weapons.”

Some parents are expressing concern that children might feel scared about campus officers being armed with such weaponry. Some feel that Compton’s image is unfairly associated with violence, and this policy exacerbates that. Others feel that money that will go towards ammunition and training of these officers paid by the district, should be used for basic needs like books and nutrition. In your view, should Compton police be armed with these rifles? Should parents have more of a voice when it comes to these types of school board decisions?

Guest:

Paulette Simpson-Gipson, President of the Compton chapter, NAACP


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