Mobile County board members discuss re-arming resource officers

They all agreed that arming these officers is the next best step to keep students safe.
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 10:31 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -National conversations on putting guns in schools have made their way to Mobile County.

Some Mobile County school board members want to re-arm school resource officers.

Board members hope to make this happen soon, with discussions happening now.

They all agreed that arming these officers is the next best step to keep students safe.

Dr. Reginald Crenshaw, District 3 Board Member, says any options should be considered. This is one of them.

”I have three grandchildren in the Mobile County Public School System,” Dr. Crenshaw said. “I think about their safety. My heart just was broken with the elementary school incident there. So yes whatever it takes to keep them safe, then we need to consider it.”

Dr. Crenshaw says when it comes to safety, money should not be an obstacle.

“We talking about and I’m just estimating $2.5 million or $2.8 million a year to do what we need to do,” Dr. Crenshaw explained. “But those lives are worth a hundred times greater than that, an infinite number.”

After the tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas last month left 19 students and 2 teachers dead, Dr. Crenshaw a strong advocate against guns in schools, had a change of heart.

“I wholeheartedly disagreed with this about 4, 5 years ago when it came up. I have totally changed my mind in light of what has happened at the schools in Texas and other places where we have to provide a safer environment for our students,” he said.

He’s not the only one who’s thinking that way.

Shanice Britto who has godchildren in Mobile agrees.

“Honestly I’m not against it. I think that we should have been done that a long time ago when that Sandy Hook situation happened,” Britto said. “Our children could not protect themselves. I don’t have children of my own but I have God babies. I feel like they can’t protect themselves.”

The Mobile County Public School System is the biggest in the state, with more than 50 thousand students.

Certain measures are already in place including active shooter training, camera systems around campus, and automated locks.

Board President Dr. William Foster says in his 30-year teaching career, he didn’t see any issues when SROs were armed.

“In the past, I remember when our resource officers were armed. There were not any serious issues that occurred as a result of having an armed resource officer,” Dr. Foster said. “I think we’ve got to do something and perhaps we’ll find out what direction we need to go with this.”

But not all parents are in favor of firearms on campus.

A mother who wanted to remain anonymous says this isn’t the best solution.

“We put our trust and faith in God, so we are not ones who are for having firearms,” she said. “Because we feel as though why have something that could potentially take a life that we cannot replace.”

Unlike Baldwin County, Mobile County Public Schools do not have resource officers on every campus.

All the SROs across the bay are armed.


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