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Weapons training for school employees
BOONE COUNTY, Ky. (Rich Jaffe) -- It's one of the most controversial topics in our country today: should the staff inside our schools be carrying guns?
A meeting to present just such a training program was held Wednesday evening at the Boone County Library. The program developed by two local professionals is called, "POST." It stands for "Protecting Our Students and Teachers."
Lots of friends and program supporters turned out to help Joe Kalil set up for Wednesday evening's program. Kalil is a federal firearms instructor, a federal law enforcement officer, an airline pilot and also the Boone County Constable.
He and Boone County Sheriff, Mike Helmig, developed the school firearms training program called "POST" after the school shootings at Sandy Hook.
Kahlil tells us, "These gunmen are not looking for a fight. They're looking for a victim count. Currently we have a "no gun" sign on these doors . It does just the opposite, it communicates that no one on these sites is capable of protecting themselves."
School officials and employees are currently being trained to handle weapons in a number of states. Like we saw a few months ago at the Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County, Ohio.
POST, the new program, would be open to any any school employee who volunteers. They must have a valid concealed carry license, undergo 55 hours of training, submit to polygraphs, interviews and more.
While aware of the program, school officials in Boone County say they already have trained officers in their schools.
Barbara Brady of the Boone County Schools said, "There are there are SRO officers in every middle and high school. As well as SRO's which are School Resource Officers in every elementary school. They are armed and they are in every school every day."
Ann Alther's a local teacher who likes the idea of the POST program.
She said, "And it's not just teachers, bus drivers, any school employees. Nurses, anyone who would be willing actually to put themselves in the first line of defense and I think a lot of lives would have already been saved if the teachers had been equipped."
Costs for the program would be minimal. Joe Kahlil points out, "Boone County Sheriff Mike Helmig has stepped up to the plate as a leader and said I will do the background checks, the polygraph, the interview board, do the drug tests, provide the classroom, the range, the instructors."
While this project has been generating a lot of buzz in the state of Kentucky, so far the only school district that has actually asked to see the presentation is Pendleton County.
On March 6th, Boone County School officials will be conducting a school safety workshop at which point we're told they'll also be looking at other options.
For more information on POST click HERE