Watertown Council Discusses Adding Security At City Schools

Watertown Council Discusses Adding Security At City Schools

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Watertown Mayor Joe Butler says he's willing to spend more money to increase the number of armed officers at city schools.

 "I would support another resource officer -- I'd raise taxes to do it," he said at a city council meeting Monday night. "I don't have a problem with that, I think it's overdue."

With school safety on the minds of many people in the wake of recent school violence and threats, it didn't take long for city council members to ask Police Chief Charles Donoghue who's protecting students and if the city should add more.

Right now, there's one full-time armed resource officer for the high school and middle school.

There's a DARE officer at Wiley Intermediate whose job is to teach kids about drugs. That officer could be used for security in a pinch.

 Watertown is one of only five schools in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties with a school resource officer.

After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead and non-credible threats at Lowville, Gouverneur, and Carthage schools, the police chief says more armed officers would be a good idea. 

"Ideally would you like to have an SRO in every single school? Yeah, probably," he said. "Would the school district be interested and I'm sure they would always be interested adding more bodies."

The department is also looking at more emergency active shooter training this upcoming year at the school.

The Watertown city school board meets Tuesday night. Donoghue says he was told school resource officers will be on the agenda.

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