Several administrators at Washington High School may be taking on a big, new role. They'll double as part-time Washington police officers.
Superintendent Dr. Jim Dunnan said this is the next step in keeping his students safe. Dunnan said, "We want to maybe put people in that position where not only can you protect the lives of students and staff members, but you can also eliminate the threat of not losing your life in doing it. That's huge."
The idea is a joint effort between the high school and Washington Police Department. Police Chief Jim Kuchenbecker said the armed administrators will have to go through the same police training his officers do before carrying a weapon. Kuchenbecker said, "We are doing this to give them the ability to possess and carry a firearm provided they go through and successfully complete the forty hour training that every police officer in Illinois undergoes."
Washington High School already has one full-time police officer but with a large campus and a growing population, one may not be enough in the event of an emergency.
Dunnan said that officer is stationed in the main entry way and his concern is threats don't always walk through the front door.
Dunnan said he and Chief Kuchenbecker just need the green light from school board members before drafting a formal proposal. Their hope is people will agree it's better to be safe than sorry. "Sometimes in light of some of these horrible circumstances that have happened nation-wide, we always find ourselves in a reactive mode and I'm excited this is a chance to be proactive and step out in front."