Butler County sheriff: Stop school fire drills, add armed personnel

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones talks about school threats.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Schools should stop doing fire drills and allow armed former police and military veterans into buildings to help protect students, said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.

In a video Jones posted Thursday afternoon, he urged local schools to act now to improve school security in the wake of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla. high school the day before.

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And Jones said he is concerned about “copy cat” shooters who may use the same strategies to kill many as the Florida shooter did.

Investigators of the shooting say the suspect, a 19-year-old former student, pulled the school’s fire alarm to bring more students out into the hallways to be targets of his gunfire. Nikolas Cruz was charged with killing 17 students and staff and wounding more than a dozen others in his attack.

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Jones, who has long advocated for the use of armed personnel in the county’s schools, said he is sending a letter to Ohio Governor John Kasich - and may send a letter to President Donald Trump, with whom he has campaigned - pushing his ideas on increasing school safety.

“The current way we do things in the school systems need to be changed,” said Jones in his video.

“We need to put armed personnel in schools, we need to look at metal detectors,” said Jones of his idea of having schools hire retired military and police personnel trained in firearm use to patrol local school buildings.

He also suggested training and arming teachers.

“We need to be prepared. This is not going stop or go away,” said Jones. “The copy cats are coming. Maybe we need like a czar of school safety for the whole United States or the state of Ohio.

“We got to do it now while people are talking about this and we have to make it happen.”