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Vigo Co. schools to get armed guards

– School officials are pressing ahead with plans to post armed police officers at all of Terre Haute’s schools in response to December’s Connecticut school massacre.

City officials and members of the Vigo County School Corp. announced the plans Monday to post armed officers in 12 city schools. Police Chief John Plasse said the district’s two others schools – North Vigo High School and South Vigo High School – already have full-time officers in place.

The Tribune-Star reported that the Vigo County School Board approved the plan Monday night. The annual cost of the measure is $353,000, with the Vigo County School Corp. paying about half of that amount.

Mayor Duke Bennett said the city would pay the rest of the cost this year, largely by tapping a seized asset fund.

Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing announced this month that he would seek funding from the County Council to place an armed officer in all 10 of the schools in the county. The county council will vote on that measure in March.

Plasse said Monday there “has been no active shooter incident” in any U.S. school where an armed police officer is posted.

“Many of the attackers stop their attack when officers arrive on scene, but we can’t afford to wait for that response, I don’t think,” he said. “Active shooter incidents are usually over in a matter of minutes, but seconds count when there is no defense for an active shooter.”

Officers will have police radios, allowing them to contact the county’s central dispatch center.

The officers would be off-duty or retired officers from the city or any other area police agency.

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