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Md. Legislation May Place School Resource Officers In Every Elementary School

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Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — New emergency legislation has been introduced in Maryland to place school resource officers in every elementary school. This comes just a little more than a week after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Rochelle Ritchie has more on how this will change school environments.

The delegate says elementary schools across the state are unprotected and a $50 million program is what it will take to make it happen.

The deadly school shooting in Newtown that rocked the country has sparked national debate on gun laws and school safety.

“We’ve all been looking for ways to protect our kids,” said state Delegate and former police officer John Cluster.

Cluster says it’s time to stop the finger pointing and protect the children.

“Currently in Baltimore County, we have school resource officers at our middle schools and high schools but why aren’t we protecting our elementary schools at the same time?” Cluster said.

His emergency legislation, if approved, would place school resource officers in elementary schools across the state. Cluster’s proposal comes with a $50 to $70 million price tag to be paid with money made from gambling expansion.

“The legislative services have told us we are going to get between $500 and $700 million from gambling revenue. Ten percent doesn’t sound like much to protect our kids,” Cluster said.

Lawmakers are looking at ways to keep everyone safe from gun violence including the ban of assault weapons, keep better records on gun owners, limit permits and decrease the amount of ammunition in a magazine.

There’s opposition from the NRA that could all take a while. What shouldn’t take long is the necessary laws to protect children. The Maryland General Assembly will consider and discuss the proposed weapons ban.

Schools in Baltimore County currently staff middle and high schools with one school resource officer.

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