Sheriff Wants Armed Marshals At Schools

Following the recent school shooting in Florida, Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins and Undersheriff Doug Scherar have released a letter calling for a program to be established, which would place well trained, armed school marshals in every public school in Routt County. The school marshals would consist of active or retired law enforcement personnel or retired military personnel who have been trained to take on dangerous situations head on and will not hesitate to act when necessary. These individuals are trained to recognize out of the ordinary, strange or aggressive human behavior and are also trained in less lethal, hand to hand, close quarter and other combative scenarios.  The school marshal candidates would be screened and would have to submit to a hiring process similar to those used for other law enforcement positions. The letter says the marshal positions should be controlled by either the city’s local police departments or the sheriff’s office. The marshals would not be considered school resource officers, but would instead be strictly responsible for campus safety and security. To avoid concerns over having a military appearance or presence at the schools, the marshals would not have to appear overly tactical or trooper like, but could dress to appear as normal citizens. Estimates are that a marshal program would cost Routt County Schools around $1.3 million annually, or around $100,000 per school. The letter says that funding for the program could be secured by the individual schools, or through a county wide tax measure, with estimates that it would cost around $137 per year, per household in the county. A link to the full letter is available here. 

 

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