First, let’s all get on the same page regarding terminology:
In Calvert County we have armed Sheriff Deputies in many of our schools. These well-trained men and women are called School Police Liaison Officers.
We also have Board of Education employees; whose job title is School Safety Advocate.
These job titles are different than in many other jurisdictions that have armed police officers in the school. They are sometimes called School Resource Officers. It causes a lot of confusion when we lump both the School Safety Advocate and the School Police Liaison Officers all together as resource officers.
The Calvert County School Police Liaison Officers are active duty police. They have ongoing current training. They receive additional training specifically for the roll of an armed officer in school.
The Calvert County School Safety Advocate is not an officer carrying a gun. Their responsibilities are more those of detective: befriending students, investigating, and preventing problems.
IF we must have armed people in schools to protect our children, then we should budget it to the Sheriff’s Department.
Children need to feel safe to learn. Parents need to know that their children are safe at school. Preventing violence and bullying must be our priority. As commissioner, I will work with the school board to make sure that teachers and schools have what they need to offer a good education for every child; where children, teachers, and staff are safe from violence.
Our policy should be to prevent problems in our schools and communities by providing resources for counseling and training. Reacting to a disaster after it occurs is not enough. We must reach out to parents and young students to prevent problems before they happen. This will improve school safety as well as discipline problems and the opioid epidemic.