Hamilton Co. sheriff: FASTER Saves Lives training "long overdue"

One day after Cincinnati's CBS affiliate, WKRC, aired a report noting that more than 40 Ohio schools now authorize and train teachers to carry guns to protect students in class, the news station sat down with Hamilton County sheriff Jim Neil to gauge his reaction after he viewed the video.

The reaction was as positive as it is for many others who are first exposed to the Buckeye Firearms Fundation-sponsored FASTER Saves Lives program, even ones who are skeptical going in.

From the follow-up report:

The sheriff's reaction to the idea of teachers and school administrators being trained to meet force with force in their own schools was clear and immediate.

Sheriff Neil said, “I’m in support of this training. I’m in support of this program.”

Briefly retired from law enforcement, before becoming sheriff, Neil actually worked as a part-time teacher. While he didn't carry his duty weapon with him in the school, it was always close.

“Your first line of defense folks is you. This is a fine example of teachers and school administrators that want to take a stand against violence and be prepared to protect themselves and people under their care. It's long overdue.”

Local 12’s story focused on teachers and administrators going through active shooter training in their own school. They are trained by instructors from the Tactical Defense Institute and it's paid for by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. Everyone has a concealed carry license and has been through an intensive program.

Meanwhile, within the confines of the Cincinnati public school system, comments from the safety program coordinator for Cincinnati Public Schools show there is still work to be done:

Daniel Daum, CPS safety coordinator, said, “We don't advocate right now teachers being armed in our buildings. We leave that to the experts. We train our staff how to respond and safeguard these kids.

There is one armed Cincinnati police resource officer in uniform in each high school. There are no SRO's in the middle or elementary schools, but they do have unarmed security teams. CPS officials also periodically use metal detectors on students. Classrooms have phones and offices have lockdown and emergency 911 buttons.

Daum believes that thanks to location, in an emergency law enforcement could quickly saturate a scene with officers, “Yes, I understand time is critical but we feel we have the best system right now, if such a horrific event happens in one of our buildings.”

As the report continues, one is left to wonder why Daum isn't listening to the highest law enforcement office in the county where his schools are located.

Sheriff Neil said, “The likelihood of something happening is gonna be when we're not there. So they have a line of defense until we can get there to support them. The troops are coming folks but we might not be there when the conflict starts.”

It's important to point out here that virtually all the school shootings have involved suburban schools not city schools like Cincinnati Public. Most of the people Local 12 News talked with agreed that response time, which is critical, in rural or suburban school systems would be much longer than what you could expect in a city school. Eight or nine minutes has become standard, Daum said he thought Cincinnati police would be on the scene in 3 or 4.

Statistics prove that, on average, five people will die per minute, or about one every 12 seconds, in an active killer event. Many more will be injured - often severe injuries from which they never recover from. The logical conclusion from Daniel Daum's comments is that Cincinnati Public Schools views 15 - 20 deaths and dozens more injuries as acceptable losses while waiting for police to arrive in "3 or 4" minutes.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

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