Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Sheriff Cole: SRO’s Save Lives
STEUBEN COUNTY (WENY) -- Less than a week ago, a gunman opened fire in Colorado for the 25th school shooting since the tragedy at Newtown. Now, a local Sheriff is vouching for School Resource Officers, saying they can save lives.
Steuben County Sheriff David Cole says that's what happened when a student opened fire on two fellow students before killing himself in Colorado. 18-year-old Karl Pierson was confronted by a former deputy working as a School Resource Officer at Arapahoe High School. The armed deputy was able to quickly intervene, and stop what could have been a mass shooting.
Back here in the Southern Tier, Sheriff Cole understands that having armed personnel in schools won't stop every potentially dangerous situation. But he says, they play a critical role.
That's why he's made it a priority to have retired law enforcement serve as SRO's in local districts as ways to cut costs, instead of schools eliminating the security all together.
"I think a lot of the areas where we have shootings and especially school shootings, are in areas that are gun free zones," said Sheriff Cole. "And I think by putting a police officer is great as far as instruction and as far as protection."
Sheriff Cole was an SRO for 4 years and has been very proactive in making sure schools in Steuben County are covered. He says, Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss, has reached out to him recently with questions about the program.