BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The best course of action to protect a local school is to place a school resource officer on site, the founder of a law enforcement training program said Monday, June 27, 2022.

Rick Arrington, CEO of Crime Prevention Center for Training and Services, trained local police at Beckley Police Department on how to assess safety vulnerabilities of local schools.

He said arming teachers, as some states have done, is not the best way to protect students.

Arrington told local police that resource officers are already trained on the use of firearms and that they have undergone mental health evaluations. Their law enforcement training makes them the best candidates for protecting schools.

Arrington added that having a pro officer keeps school districts from being liable for lawsuits if a teacher has to use a firearm.

“Teachers are already asked to do too much, and their job is to actually teach,” said Arrington. “Sometimes we’re asking them to raise our children.

“But their job is to teach,” he added. “They do not need the added responsibility of being an armed guard at the school, as well.”

Arrington said some teachers are capable of handling firearms but that a pro officer has been specifically changed for the job.