More armed officers in elementary schools

Riverview, Florida -- Parents, don't be alarmed if you see an armed officer roaming the halls of your children's elementary school. It's all part of the Hillsborough County School's plan to keep your kids safe.

Last year, there were nine officers on elementary campuses. That number is doubling this year.

"This is unprecedented, but unfortunately, it's necessary," says School Community Officer Irving Miller.

Ever since the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, Bay area school districts have looked at ways to make schools safer.

"We always hoped [having armed security] would happen for some time, even before Sandy Hook," says Riverview Elementary Principal Melody Murphy.,"We've had issues with parents, community members."

Now schools like Riverview Elementary are getting what they hoped for: Officer Miller is one of 29 officers who will be patrolling elementary schools in Hillsborough County this year. Riverview will be Officer Miller's home base, but he will rotate between five others.

"As teachers, administrators, we will step in front of our children to save them. Having an officer on duty will be a positive thing," says Murphy.

Hillsborough County school security hopes that having officers like Miller will help deter crime and within four years, hopefully there will be one officer at every elementary school in the county.

The armed security officers will cost the district about $4.5 million this year. Over the next four years, it could cost about $20 million.

GALLERY: Back to School Photos


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