“Communities throughout the nation recognize that trained, sworn law enforcement officers assigned to schools make a difference.” Sounds like some zany right wing plan proposed by the National Rifle Association, no?
No. It’s the justification for the COPS in Schools program started by the Clinton Justice Department and continued in the Bush and Obama Justice Departments. By the end of the Bush administration had “awarded in excess of $753 million to more than 3,000 grantees to hire more than 6,500 SROs [school resource officers] through the CIS program.” Under Obama, the spending under this program (as under most programs) increased dramatically, but most of it seems to have been part of the stimulus shoveling money to public employment in general rather than placing more officers in schools. The appropriations for 2008 was $587 million; for 2009, $1.55 billion; and for 2010, $791 million.
Perhaps all these funds succeeded in placing more trained police officers in schools, but if so that would appear to be a well-kept secret.
An OpEd in the Wall Street Journal today by Robert Bernat, a lawyer and physician in Highland Park, Ill, concludes:
One-third of the nation’s elementary, middle and high schools reportedly already have armed security on campus. In 2000, President Clinton marked the one-year anniversary of Columbine by proposing a significant expansion of the government’s existing “COPS in Schools” program. Now that the National Rifle Association’s Mr. LaPierre has made a similar proposal, he is being ridiculed. Why?