Boulder County Sheriff proposes to keep rifles in schools

Posted at 9:24 AM, Jun 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-06 11:24:42-04

A Colorado school district is considering a proposal to store police rifles inside two high schools.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office pitched the idea to keep the rifles stored in secure vaults inside two high schools in Lyons and Niwot.

Only school resource officers could access the guns using his or her fingerprints.

"We’re seeing the number of school shootings increase," explained Robert Sullenberger, the division chief for Boulder County. "Our response time to both Lyons as well as Niwot High is long – anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. So the next available officer to help is a way out. The vast majority of these school shootings are concluded within five to seven minutes, so the quicker that we can address this threat, the better off everyone is."

Sullenberger said three resource officers are currently assigned to the district – one in each high school, plus an extra officer. Already, the officers carry a handgun and keep an AR-15 locked in their patrol cars. This proposal would make available a third weapon for the officers.

Sullenberger acknowledged the proposal is not fail-safe. In the event of the shooting, a school officer might not be close enough to the gun safe to access the weapon quickly or may be injured during the shooting so that nobody else can unlock the vault. 

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