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Police in schools 'not the answer,' coalition says, urging broader strategy

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The idea of placing more officers in schools is certainly a popular one, with the memory of the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut still fresh in people’s minds.

Hillsborough County, Fla., has already expanded the number of officers in order to place one at each elementary school, and legislators in several states, including Indiana and Arizona, are considering multimillion-dollar bills to expand school resource officers, the Associated Press reports.

Prince William County, Va., had been considering reassigning some officers away from schools to save $520,000, but reversed that decision and is now considering adding more such officers, according to the Manassas Patch news website.

Public opinion on the matter is mixed. Forty-one percent of voters support the National Rifle Association’s proposal to put armed police officers in schools across the country, and 50 percent oppose it, according to a recent survey by Public Policy Polling. In a Christian Science Monitor/TIPP poll conducted Jan. 2-7, 64 percent of Americans support increasing a police presence in schools, while 29 percent oppose it.

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