Costly School Security Upgrade Weighed in Rutherford County

Another Middle Tennessee county is thinking about adding more armed officers to its schools. Rutherford County is weighing the safeguard after last month’s horrific massacre at an elementary school in Connecticut.

Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold (WPLN/Daniel Potter)

Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold (WPLN/Daniel Potter)

Right now elementary schools in Rutherford County lack full-time armed officers. The proposal would commit one to each school, adding 11 jobs at a cost of $1.2 million. It’s unclear how commissioners would pay for it.

Sheriff Robert Arnold says he’s talked to peers who are considering similar moves.

“Other law-enforcement agencies all across this nation are now turning their focus to this because, you know, naturally – it’s kids. They are helpless.”

Nashville officials say they’re unlikely to follow suit, because it’d be a major strain to staff sworn officers in each of Metro’s 73 elementary schools.

The Williamson County Commission is set to vote next week on adding a couple dozen school-resource officers, at a cost of a couple million dollars. Similar proposals have been discussed in Sumner, Anderson and Sullivan counties.

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