Bentonville Schools Approve Armed Security Officers On Campuses

BENTONVILLE (KFSM) - In a 6-0 vote The Bentonville School Board has approved security officers to carry firearms on high school campuses.

The decision was made at a Board of Education meeting Monday (July 16).

"Commissioned School Security Officers", a plan recommended by Bentonville school administrators, allows an approved security officer who has passed three phases of training to be armed on school property beginning Fall 2018.

The officers will work alongside school resource officers at both high schools in Bentonville, costing the school board about $27,000 per officer.

"Having them in the schools along with our resource officers just enhances the safety of our students and our staff." said School Security Director Steve Vera.

Officers considering the position are required to have a military or police background and undergo 60 hours of additional training. The training includes an active shooter course and defensive tactics.

Despite the heightened security measure one Bentonville mom isn't sure its enough.

"In Florida there were armed security guards and SRO's present and still there were lives lost. So I can't say that security officers make me feel necessarily safer for my child." said Stephanie Baker.

During the deliberation the board did make it clear that they will not be arming school teachers now or in the future.

The new security guards are expected to hit the hallways in late August of this year.

Last year student I-D badges were approved by the board, and another school resource officer has been brought on to help with security at the junior highs.