More Police Presence Coming to Bentonville Schools
Law enforcement officials plan to beef up their presence at Bentonville schools.
School district officials are working with Benton County deputies and police officers from Bentonville and Centerton to help with safety and security.
Beginning Monday, when students return from the holiday break, officers will be visible on campus throughout the day.
“I think that’s a good deterrent for someone who might be trying to do something violent, to know that we are going to have police officers at any given moment in our building,” said Michael Poore, superintendent.
Shortly after a tragic shooting that left 27 people dead at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., the National Rifle Association announced their plans to organize a safety program that would require trained, armed volunteers at schools. Asa Hutchison, Rogers attorney and a former Arkansas congressman, is spearheading the campaign.
Poore says it would be financially difficult to support the NRA’s plan to place an armed guard in every school. He favors beefed-up police security but says he’s against having teachers armed in the classrooms.
“I don’t think we want to go through all that training to prepare our people when they have their own training that they need to do in order to do the job that we’ve hired them to do- to educate our kids,” he said.
Police officers will not only patrol the campuses in their cars, but also go into the school facilities.
“They will do tests to check to see whether our doors are secure, checking with the principal to make sure they aren’t experiencing anything unusual,” Poore said.
The Bentonville school district has three resource officers, two at the high school and one who splits his time between the two junior highs. Poore plans to propose a budget increase to support five resource officers next year.