What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Douglas County “School Marshals” Edition

Sheriff Weaver (courtesy castlepinesconnection.com)

“Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver [above] is taking the next step in school safety by putting plain clothes, armed ‘school marshals’ in schools in his county next school year,” breitbart.com reports. ‘It [will] be no different than getting on airplane; [where] you never know who the air marshal is,’ Weaver explained. ‘When you walk into one of our schools, you won’t know who the law enforcement officer is.'” So instead of letting teachers, administrators, support staff and parents exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right keep and bear arms by carrying a concealed weapon in their workplace—which would really vex a spree killer looking for a “gun free zone”—or installing a hi-viz uniformed deterrent, Douglas County taxpayers are going to pay for cops to dress casually (if they’re capable) and hang out in schools all day doing . . . nothing. What could possibly go wrong? [h/t James]

comments

  1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

    I’d be fine with this if the cops weren’t there to catch kids being kids. Instead my guess is this won’t be about safety, it’ll be about making our schools more like prisons.

    1. avatar Kevin says:

      Agree totally, more cops in schools means kids being kids, is now now kids being felons!

      1. avatar CA.Ben says:

        I disagree. Through all my years in school, I never saw behavior that broke the law. Other than the guys with chew on campus. But then again, I went to a very rural school system, so maybe I can’t speak for everybody.

        1. avatar TTACer says:

          So you never saw a food fight, or a regular fight? You never saw a kid do a burnout in the parking lot (reckless driving, punishable by up to a year in prison in Virginia)? You never saw or heard of a kid pocketing a cookie in the cafeteria? You must have gone to school in a 1950s sitcom.

        2. avatar CA.Ben says:

          I never saw a food fight, that’s silly.

          As for regular fights, whenever they occurred, my school called the police and let them deal with it anyways. I never heard of any legal action being taken after a fight, but the school let the police deal with them. Usually at least one of the participants was over 18.

          I saw guys doing burnouts in the parking lot. But that was always at around 6 to 8 at night, when the school was empty. The officers wouldn’t be there. And if you are stupid enough to do that when school is in session, then you deserve what you get.

          These guys aren’t going to be jailing people for petty theft.

          My point is, the presence of armed officers isn’t going to affect the activities of students. And regardless, isn’t it better to get a slap on the wrist for some stupid thing while you’re young still? I don’t see any potential negatives that outweigh protection against school shootings.

        3. avatar Matt in FL says:

          I’m convinced that food fights are really only something that happen on TV or in the movies. It’s kinda like apocryphal “wild spring break” stories. Sure, there are thousands of kids who go to Panama City, or Cancun, or Lake Havasu, but there are millions more who don’t. Most people don’t have “epic” spring breaks, they have semi-boring, “a little bit of fun with their friends” spring breaks.

        4. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          I’m surprised by that Ben… I got in a few fights in middle school and the mentality was always detention. As law enforcement increases the number of arrests do, but generally for non-violent offenses. Violent crime doesn’t seem to be affected by the presence of law enforcement. See the Volstead act or the War on Drugs, or gun control for that matter, for examples.

          I agree with Matt on the food fight thing, but if anyone wants to make one happen I’m down. Sounds like good stupid fun.

      2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

        I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not, but my point is that disciplinary issues that used to be handled fine by schools and parents can now enter the criminal ‘justice’ system. That helps no one in the case of small amounts of weed, alcohol or a fight between to 17 year olds.

  2. avatar Michael says:

    I think people might notice some strange person lurking around

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      If the kids see some adult that they don’t recognize lurking around the school shouldn’t they start yelling “Stranger Danger!”?

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Not only will the children and staff tend to notice strangers, they will really notice strangers who have typical police hair cuts. I mean no offense to police officers. I am simply pointing out the fact that these plain clothes “marshals” are not going to be anywhere near as invisible as the Sheriff claims.

      And that points to a huge problem: when a student or staff member comes for a killing spree, they will know who the “marshal” is and probably make it a point to take out the marshal first, like the student who attacked his high school in Red Lake, Minnesota in 2005. In that case the student’s first victim was an unarmed security guard.

      The best solution is when any parent or staff member could be armed. An attacker would have absolutely no idea who might be armed. And there could be several armed adults on site to oppose him/her immediately. Unless the attacker is complete moron, that will affect their actions.

  3. avatar Dale says:

    Hey, nothing like training ’em young so that the idea of an official, uniformed, armed guard present at all times watching you is a normal thing.

    1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      +1

  4. avatar Bob says:

    Come on,
    You got the “good guy with a gun” now as far as deterrents are concerned! Probably it is good enough to make the psycho pick a movie theather instead. And don’t forget some believe that the uniformed cop will get the first bullet…

  5. avatar csmallo says:

    Nothing scheme to pad the already over paid salaries of his thugs.

    1. avatar CA.Ben says:

      What is your better alternative? The CO legislature rejected a bill that would have allowed teachers to carry concealed, so this seems like the next best thing.

      And referring to all cops as thugs is ignorant. Not only is Douglas county very conservative, but there are good street cops out there. Chiefs in democrat-controlled areas are always bad, but the street cops can actually be *gasp* good guys.

      1. avatar B says:

        Fish rot from the head. The guys getting advanced will be thugs if the leaders are. Maybe you will find a good smart guy who can game the system and rise up, but he’s going to have to play a thug to fit in. A good guy acting like a thug is still a thug.

      2. avatar Totenglocke says:

        The police spent decades rightfully earning their reputation as thugs and bullies. If they want to change that perception, it’s their responsibility to earn the trust of the American people.

    2. avatar DonS says:

      “over paid salaries”?

      A Douglas County Deputy Sheriff starts at $52,080 per year and tops out at $78,120. In a county where the median household income is about $95,000.

      I cannot speak for my fellow residents of the county, but I certainly don’t consider that “over paid”.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Don’t sweat it, Don. There are those here that think that virtually any amount paid would be too much, and that a quick death would be too good for them. It’s best to just ignore them.

      2. avatar Totenglocke says:

        And they produce what exactly? Remember, every penny that they get must first be stolen from the citizens of that county.

        Seeing how the majority of police “work” is sitting along side the road harassing people trying to get to work and collecting money for the county, people have every right to be annoyed at them getting $50k – $70k a year for that. A glorified meter maid shouldn’t be making more than $15/hr.

  6. avatar ThomasR says:

    Geez people, can’t you just understand an average civilian can’t be trusted to use a gun responsibly or accurately under pressure, UNLESS he or she has been anointed and blessed by the powers of the Powers That Be and suddenly, with that magical talisman, (called a badge) they now have god like powers to protect us helpless, powerless and useless eaters and breeders.

    1. I’ve seen some in competition. They are about an average C shooter in USPSA. There are those that take their duty seriously and the do about as well as the serious competition shooter…

  7. avatar Accur81 says:

    Is that an overtime detail? Cause I could use a few extra bucks. Maybe these folks should announce the dollar amounts associated with these “excellent ideas.” I bet that would change some perspectives.

    Statists +1
    Taxpayers 0

  8. avatar Sebudei says:

    21 Jump Street is so over, man.

  9. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

    TO: All
    RE: Douglas County, Colorado….

    ….is dominated by brainless Democrats.

    They’d rather see people die from mass murder than a perp be shot down before they acted-out.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [The Truth will out….liberals prefer mass murder over self-defense.]

    1. avatar Coloradan says:

      Ummm, Douglas county is one of the most conservative counties in Colorado. What are you taking about?

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        As a general rule, Chucklehead has no idea what he’s talking about. He just says stuff that he thinks sounds good.

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    I’m sure that nobody will spot Officer Krupke trying to pass himself off as — as what exactly? A teacher? Janitor? Student? That guy who likes to hang out on the other side of the schoolyard fence watching the boys? Well, the latter would explain that bulge in his pants, wouldn’t it.

    Air marshals in school. Nobody could have come up with an idea that dumb except a chief LEO.

    1. avatar Michael says:

      +1

    2. avatar Ropingdown says:

      This plan sounds like nothing more than a minimum-disruption means to recycle the weed-focused county narcs whose previous assignment has been made pointless by changes in CO law.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Ex-narcs should get jobs protecting dispensaries. Why not? They know the business and they know the product. Some have even participated in the business (on an informal basis) and sampled the product.

        1. avatar Ropingdown says:

          What a great idea. A much better recycling concept. They can probably even explain the different varieties available to customers stuck waiting in line. “Is that cannabis smoke I smell?” “No, brother, that’s the smell of fresh GDP.”

    3. avatar DisThunder says:

      Air Marshals are just about the only one of the Bush Administrations’ Super Ultra Mega Mega Terrorist C*ntpuncher Agenda that actually worked, and it’s the one I always point to when people say more guns make things more dangerous….
      …and then somebody goes and suggests this one.
      Still, maybe if we held classes on airplanes….

  11. avatar Eric says:

    It may be far from perfect but it is a start. We cannot expect the anti’s to drop their fear of guns all at once, no matter the studies or stats that show an armed populace is one of the best means for defense. This might help, IMO, to ease them into the idea that guns are not bad or evil.

  12. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Comment deleted.

    Please send corrections and comments about TTAG’s editorial stance and/or style to guntruth@me.com

  13. avatar Coloradan says:

    To be fair, the Colorado statist democrats rejected a bill that would have allowed teachers to arm themselves. Since the statist are the ones who actually rejected our right to defend our kids, this is only logical next step.

  14. avatar Souternmutt says:

    Huh. So you’re telling me statists come in ‘neo-con red’ and not just ‘socialistic blue’? Interesting.

    Anyway, If I stare at your children all day long, while carrying, will you pay me? If not, I’ll just “tax” you anyhow.

    1. avatar Evan says:

      This. Statists come from both parties.

  15. avatar SubZ says:

    While not a great solution, it gives notice of armed resistance. Better than just a GFZ sign.

    1. avatar CA.Ben says:

      Agreed. I think it’s better than nothing. Why exactly are you so negative towards this RF? I mean, the Colorado legislature rejected a bill that would have allowed the teachers to carry, so this seems like the next best thing for the locals to do.

      Contrary to popular belief, it actually is allowable to support SOME stuff.

      1. avatar Kevin says:

        Now your just talking crazy.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        CA.Ben,

        I think RF opposes the idea because it is totally unnecessary and could actually be quite ineffective.

        1. avatar CA.Ben says:

          I can understand the effectivity argument, but given that the CO legislature won’t allow teachers to carry, I don’t see many better options.

          As for unnecessary, well, when the NRA calls for an armed guard in every school, I think that highlights a need for a program installing armed guards in schools.

  16. avatar Avid Reader says:

    Don’t forget Weaver is one of the sheriffs that joined in the suit to overturn the silly laws that were passed in the last legislature. I’ll cut him some slack because of that.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      Yep. Context is not trivia.

    2. avatar Coloradan says:

      Not only that but as I said above, current law prohibits teachers for arming themselves. The republicans tried passing a bill that would have allowed schools and teachers to choose but the statist democrats killed it in committee. They didn’t even want to debate it. So with no other recourse, armed marshals is the only logical conclusion until we can get something better in place.

    3. avatar Coloradan says:

      Not only that but as I said above, current law prohibits teachers from arming themselves. The republicans tried passing a bill that would have allowed schools and teachers to choose but the statist democrats killed it in committee. They didn’t even want to debate it. So with no other recourse, armed marshals is the only logical conclusion until we can get something better in place.

  17. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    What I want to know is why almost everyone is so eager to follow “laws” that violate the U.S. Constitution and their unalienable rights.

    So the man says it is a criminal act to carry a concealed handgun into a school regardless of the fact that the person carrying the handgun has no criminal record and will only use their handgun if a spree killer show up. So?

    If you carry a concealed handgun into a school, keep it concealed in a holster that covers the trigger, and keep it strapped to your body at all times, no one will ever know and no one will ever get hurt. Meanwhile you can actually defend the children in the school while the various legislatures and courts fiddle around doing NOTHING to defend the children in school. How is that bad or wrong? Look at it this way. If your spouse were having a heart attack and you were driving him/her to the hospital, would you make sure to observe that 35 mph speed limit on a street with minimal traffic? And would you sit through a red light if there is no oncoming traffic? Or would you drive as fast as safely possible, speed limits and full cycles of red lights be damned? Why is carrying a concealed handgun to defend your life and the life of children any different?

    1. avatar CA.Ben says:

      While I agree with you 100% in principle, and think your metaphor is outstanding, illegally carrying a handgun in a school is a high risk, low reward situation. There’s a very high risk that somebody notices and you get locked up for a long time, while there’s very little chance that a school shooting will occur in the half hour you are there. People should be able to carry in schools, but as long as it remains illegal, very few will break the law.

  18. avatar Jay Jones says:

    If you folks don’t think you can see or pick out a plain clothed cop in plain site.
    Then your foolish.
    Or have never paid attention.
    They stick out like sore thumbs.
    Here anyways.
    We here in Palm Beach County have had uniformed Deputies since well forever in the high schools and no problems have arisen on the side of the kids or the cops.
    They manage to coexist peaceable quite well.
    Plain clothes on the other hand………….a bad idea.

    1. avatar Bruce says:

      And the spree killer won’t stand out as well? Long black coat, acting strange, AR-15 sticking out of the bottom of the coat. And if the killer does see and recognize him as a cop, isn’t the argument he will either run away, or commit suicide?

      I agree, arming teachers would be better since one person can’t cover the whole school, but at least this is a start.

  19. avatar Mick says:

    It’s not to hard normally to figure out who the off duty cop is. He’s the one with the mustache and the ears showing if not all of his scalp too. More like a beetle tossed in with a bunch of ants, just saying, he sticks out in a crowd.

    1. avatar JimInCO says:

      Funny you mention long black coat. Jefferson County, next door neighbor to Douglas County includes Columbine High School. In the immediate aftermath of that tragedy, JeffCo Schools’ response was to… Ban Long Black Coats.
      Obviously, it was effective, since there hasn’t been another school shooting in JeffCo.

  20. avatar Klaus says:

    I think this is a step in the right direction for a lot of schools.

    I grew up with an officer in every single school from Elementary to High School, which in all totaled up to be 8 schools in a town of 18,000 people. And this 15 years ago was not a big deal…and I even remember all the parents bitching when the school lost funding for the security….The towns parents were outraged that the schools were now defenseless.

    Rodents like this in society are looking for easy targets. An undefended school, without law enforcement or security is exactly what someone is looking for.

    We’ve seen it time and time again. Person becomes Active shooter, kills people, then notices that people are shooting back…active shooter commits suicide…

  21. avatar jwm says:

    I was working with our school district when the first SRO’s were assigned to our high schools. They were put there in response to an increased amount of gang activity on school grounds and a killing that occurred just off school grounds after a fight that started in the school.

    There hasn’t been any negatives years later, only positives. The kids learned to accept the uniformed officers and the officers mostly look at the kids as kids being kids. Most of the officers dailey activities is focused on the gangs which allows the non gang kids and the staff to get on with their day.

    As for being busted for burning donuts or smoking weed on campus, if you’re that dumb to do it during the day when the cops there. you earned that ticket. In a few more years that type of student will be ready for the IGOTD award.

    I would prefer the more cost effective method of allowing school staff members and parent volunteers to protect the schools. But sometimes that’s just not possible, so at least our high school have some protection.

    1. avatar Rob in Wilco TX says:

      Hi all,

      Long time lurker, first time commenter….
      I want to amplify jwm’s comments on SROs. Here in my part of the Republic of Texas, SROs have been in the middle and high schools for years. They get to know the kids on a first name basis, they work directly with some of the troubled kids, and only when a crime occurs at school (usually theft, a fight, or the odd instance of drug possession) does the SRO engage in traditional policing duties.
      I’d just as soon have an officer in uniform than in “plain clothes.”

  22. avatar Fabian_CH says:

    They’ll never know who the adult is that never seems to do anything but hang around, and somehow gets paid anyway (and is not a teacher–sorry, had to 🙂 )

    Never, I tell you!

  23. avatar Gerry says:

    The DougCo plan is right out of the NRA’s and Bill Clinton’s school security plans. Nothing sinister here. Douglas County is a well-off area where the people want to protect their kids and are willing to pay for it. The only people who seem to have a problem with this are the anti-gun nuts and the anti-cop wackos, neither of whom really matter to the aforementioned well-off DougCo voters.

  24. avatar jimmyjames says:

    If it is like when I was in high school 35+ years ago, with narcs, everyone knew who he was in like 5 minutes. Dumb idea, the plain clothes part.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      An active shooter is going to recognize a uniform much faster than a face.

  25. avatar Joseph B Campbell says:

    The only problem I see with this is when a shots fired call goes out. The officer at the school out of uniform is not identified to responding officers and could get shot.
    I know poor grammar.

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