Pittsburgh Public Schools police chief wants his officers armed

SPRINGFIELD, VA - JANUARY 18: Officer Joe Plazio, of the Fairfax County Police Department, stays armed with his service pistol as he patrols the hallways where he is stationed at West Springfield High School on Friday, January 18, 2012, in Springfield, VA. Fairfax County has taken a variety of approaches to making schools safe. Each of the high schools and middle schools have a Fairfax County school resource officer, who is an armed sworn officer with the Fairfax County Police. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

October 3, 2018

The police chief for Pittsburgh Public Schools on Monday asked the district’s policy committee to change the policy that prevents school officers from carrying firearms.

“I want to stop whatever’s coming from the outside inside,” Chief George Brown said.

“We’re trying to keep the streets out of our schools so our kids can sit down, laugh, joke and get an education.”

Nkechi Emewulu, whose daughter attends kindergarten, said she would feel better knowing the officers there were armed.

“I think it’s a good idea, because for people to come in and start shooting at the students — so, my own opinion, I think the police should carry guns for the safety of the students and the teachers,” she said.

Joe Worthington, who also has children in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, said he is opposed to guns, no matter who is holding them.

“Guns are my fear — accidents, a kid somehow getting access to one of them, one of them accidentally going off,” Worthington said. “I don’t know, just some unnecessary mishap with a gun that could all be avoided if we didn’t have them in there.”

The public can offer their opinion during the district’s public hearing on Oct. 22. Two days later, the board will vote on whether school police officers should be armed.