LA lawmakers tackle school security - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

LA lawmakers tackle school security

(Source: Atlas Security Services) (Source: Atlas Security Services)
Bossier Schools Security Director Danny Dison and Superintendent DC Machen testify before the Louisiana House Select Committee on Homeland Security. Bossier Schools Security Director Danny Dison and Superintendent DC Machen testify before the Louisiana House Select Committee on Homeland Security.
BATON ROUGE (WAFB/KSLA) -

It's been one month since the shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. That horrifying event weighs heavily on Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendent and concerned father.

"I am a parent of four kids," Edmonson told members of the House Homeland Security Committee looking into curbing violence in schools. "Our nightmare is what happened (at Sandy Hook Elementary).  

Edmonson is the head of a new statewide task force on school security. He told committee members he's committed to safety both on and of school campuses. 

"We're ahead of the curve in Louisiana, said Edmonson. "We're doing a lot of positive things that most states are just planning for."

Louisiana leaders are tackling the topic of security in schools just one day after President Barack Obama announced his plan to curb gun violence across the country.

No votes were taken in Thursday's committee hearing which included testimony from representatives from teacher unions, law enforcement officials and other state school administrators.

State officials have already met with law enforcement in cities like Aurora, CO, to get their recommendations.

Louisiana Schools Superintendent John White called for law enforcement to be "deeply tied" to each school's crisis management plans, not just to give input.

One of the model school districts highlighted at the hearing was the Bossier Parish school system.

Bossier Parish director of security Captain Danny Dison told the committee his district's crisis plan is effective, but in extreme situations, school personnel also need to be trained to take down a threat.

"If that individual with a weapon is breaching your door and coming beyond that doorway, you need to kill ‘em." said Dison. "You need to do whatever you can to keep yourself safe and those children safe."

Shreveport Representative Barbara Norton addressed the issue of more guards in schools. She said she is proposing new legislation that calls for armed guards at all elementary schools in Louisiana. 

Another legislator pointed out other potential threats to schools that deserve focus.

"One day you'll have a person walk in with a dirty bomb smart bomb or whatever you want to call it that would drastically affect the school that we may not even be prepared for," said Baton Rouge Representative Dalton Honore 

Lawmakers plan to use the information at today's hearing to introduce legislation at the upcoming legislative session to ensure better security in all Louisiana schools.

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