Proposal would allow unarmed volunteers to safeguard Cumberland students

Thursday, March 08, 2018 09:02PM
The school angels would be unarmed serving as an alternative to the nationally proposed law that would put guns in the hands of school teachers.


FAYETTEVILLE, NC - An extra layer of security.

The program is called "School Watch." Interim Superintendent Tim Kinlaw came up with the concept. It puts about six to 10 "angels" or volunteers at each school.

"I would envision that they would help us to patrol the campuses, make sure our security gates would remain closed and look for any flaws in our security fencing," said safety director Bruce Morrison.

The school angels would be unarmed serving as an alternative to the nationally proposed law that would put guns in the hands of school teachers.

"You can't just give someone a weapon and say here you go," said Morrison.

Program volunteers would be armed with education instead. They'd undergo a background check and extensive training in radio communications, crisis management and safety procedures.

"We envision them being mobile. It may be that they just walk around the campus depending on the size of the campus, of course. Or maybe they would borrow a school golf cart," said Morrison.

CCS hopes to recruit volunteers through civic organizations, aiming for retirees, veterans and those with previous law enforcement experience. Retired Army paratrooper Eddie Davis says his resume speaks for itself.

"Situational awareness for one. Since we've been under those stressors already, we'll be more fit to react to certain circumstances and help the kids be in a more safe environment," said Davis.

Cumberland County Schools has about 87 schools in the district but only 42 School Resource Officers. Some school leaders believe this measure would add an extra layer of support while giving parents an extra sense of security.

"The only thing we're asking them to do is be observant for us and to be another set of eyes," Morrison said.

The measure still has to be approved by the Cumberland County School Board. From there, the program will be finalized and recruiting will begin.
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