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Fayette County gives school officers faster access to rifles

Keeping rifles inside their school offices instead of their vehicles will allow resource officers to respond more quickly to an active shooter. Courtesy Fayette County Sheriff’s Office
Keeping rifles inside their school offices instead of their vehicles will allow resource officers to respond more quickly to an active shooter. Courtesy Fayette County Sheriff’s Office

School resource officers in Fayette County middle and high schools will soon be able to keep their long rifles secured in a safe within the school buildings.

The Fayette County Board of Education voted 5-0 on June 25 to give the officers easier access to the weapons, which have previously been stored in law enforcement vehicles, to reduce response times in case of an active shooter situation. The plan was suggested by the school system’s safety team and was endorsed by the police chiefs of Fayetteville and Peachtree City, as well as the Fayette County sheriff’s office and district attorney. The system will spend $2,000 per school to install the safes and related security and camera equipment, and the weapons will only be stored on site when school is in session.

Superintendent Joseph Barrow, Jr. said, “I wish we weren’t having this conversation…but it’s a new reality and we have to prepare for it.”