The cost of placing an armed cop in every school
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is back in a winless position right now, holding once again the villainous role it seems oblivious to in the wake of any American mass shooting.
But there was Wayne LaPierre today, holding a press conference in Washington to break the NRA’s silence after last week’s Sandy Hook massacre.
Said the group’s executive vice-president: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
It was the line everyone imagined he'd say, but perhaps came alongside a proposal some had not. Earlier today, LaPierre called on Congress to place an armed police officer in every school in America.
We’ll leave it to the comments to address whether armed cops in schools would prevent or encourage violence, but what we can do here is break down the costs a bit to see how pragmatic it is.
*Bing: What is the deadliest school shooting in history?
In the U.S., where nationwide debt is still such an issue the term “fiscal cliff” was batted around just as often over the past week as talk of the 27 murdered in Connecticut, there are 98,817 public schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
And in the U.S., the median annual pay for a police officer was $55,010 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Business Insider’s Walter Hickey breaks down the math on this, noting for each armed cop placed in an American school, it would cost taxpayers about $5.4 billion every year. (So, $5.4 billion for one in each school, and an additional $5.4 billion for every additional officer placed in schools across the nation.)
That’s a heck of a lot, and we can’t speculate how that sum would stack up against the sweeping reform of mental healthcare in America many are calling for.
But what about Canada? We’re a nation that, in spite of our global rep, is prone to acts of unspeakable violence, like the alleged Luka Magnotta murder and dismemberment last year. More relevant here: the shooting at Montreal’s École Polytechnique school that left 15 dead in 1989.
In Canada, there are about 16,000 public (ie. non-private) schools, according to a national breakdown.
And in Canada, cops are well paid, even more so than their colleagues in the U.S. While in some districts the starting police salary can be as high as $87,880, the median police pay for a first class constable in Canada is $83,483, according to an RCMP report.
So to place an armed officer in every public school across the country? We’d be talking about $1.3 billion each year, per cop, from Canadian taxpayers.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: Tom Gordon | Dec 21, 2021 5:00:14 PM
I can not understand the logic.....there is no logic to this man's thinking. It must be his paycheck talking. We have had a huge influx of illegal U.S. weapons into Canada. Children all over the world are dying every day because of U.S. made weapons. The only weapons of mass distuction I have seen in my 60 years on this earth are automatic weapons in the hands of crazy people. To own one of these guns you have to be crazy. They are made to kill as many humans standing, in the shortest time possible. The only way we can solve this prbolem in the short term is total absinstance. For ordinary people NO GUNS! NO HOW! The privlege has to be been revoked. We must join Japan, Great Britian and Australia.
Posted by: Dave | Dec 21, 2021 9:16:41 PM
America has a massive number of problems but sadly a shortage of police and good people with guns is not one of them.
Now... if the NRA was proposing appropriate mental healthcare for everyone in the nation who needs it.... Well, that would be a completely different matter and one I would support wholeheartedly.
Sadly no one in the US is suggesting good healthcare for everyone.
Posted by: Steva Rajkovic | Dec 22, 2021 7:59:52 AM
America is largest producer of weapons of mass destruction. They are ok' to protect them self from outside enemy, but not from enemy with in self. I am not big fan of NRA in a way the only way to stop maniac is bullet in head. I was in army for 15 months, and caried heavy machine gun 24/7 365 days a year, sometimes even slept with it. Nobody would ever mess with me or my peers. Why ?? answer is obvious. Good idea to place cops in schools yes, but that wouldnt' work either. What about plazas, movie theaters, etc. ???. Just ban auto weapons of any kind. Period. Why not round up lunatics and place them in nervous hospitals. Give them permanent treatment. ??
Thank you for space
Posted by: mike g | Dec 22, 2021 12:03:26 PM
LePierre made these comments about armed cops in school to detract from the issue.He knows full well that the states will not spend billions every year for armed cops in every school.How can anyone defend civilians owning clearly miliatary weapons designed to kill mass numbers of people NOT defend
against a home invasion.There were no automatic weapons around when the second amendment was drafted.
Posted by: Robert | Dec 22, 2021 12:08:18 PM
The anti's just foolishly roll their eyes when faced with the true adage of "guns don't kill people, people kill people". The thin edge of the wedge for the anti's will be to call for a ban on fully automatic weapons, then handguns and "assault-looking" firearms, then any long gun so eventually a supposedly gunless society exists. They then mistakenly think this will be utopia. It will be utopia only for the criminal element who will acquire what firearms they want and have no opposition when they decide to use them. Having a slow-to-respond (if at all) police/military force may placate some into thinking they have a safe society, but I for one, am willing to address immediate threats when demanded and will ensure I have the means to do so. Am I a threat to society, no. Am I a threat to my neighbors, no. The gun is a tool only. It is the person holding the weapon that decides whether the situation is a threat whether they hold a gun, knife, club, etc.
Posted by: Barry | Dec 22, 2021 12:47:24 PM
I find it odd that the people who are calling for a ban on all firearms are at the same time letting their children play the most violently graphic computer games available on the market today. Also since gangs, drugs, prostitution and vehicular accidents all are responsible for more fatalities every year than what happened in Connecticut I would propose a ban on all of those as well. We all know that if you would just sit and explain it to gang members, pimps and drug pushers not to mention the insane nut cases behind the wheel, that what they're doing is harmful to our youth they would instantly stop it. And if they don't, well we'll just make their activities illegal- no wait we have already have laws against that kind of behaviour and they have proved useless. The media belittles the NRA by saying armed guards at schools would be way to costly but in the same breath support the space race, the huge salaries politicians earn (not to mention gratuities, pensions and golden handshakes) and insane cost of professional sports paid out annually. Have you ever seen a politician giving a speech without the presence of armed guards? Take a look next time your at the bank and notice if they all have armed guards. So if the big bankers and politicians all consider themselves important enough to have armed guards why not our most precious resource- the children? But no- ban all firearms from the everyday law abiding citizen --- I'm sure the gangs, pimps and drug dealers will all jump on the band wagon and say "Yes we will!!!- why didn't we think of that before?" -and the world will instantly be a perfect place to live. The only thing sadder than what happened in Connecticut would be politicians trying to capitalize on it to ram through their unconstitutional agenda of disarming all law abiding American citizens. Why would they want that?? Could it be defenseless citizens are easier to rule?. I know Hitler and Stalin thought so.
Posted by: Kate Elliott | Dec 23, 2021 3:21:03 PM
There are so many facets that need to be examined. No, I don't think it's a bad idea to have an armed guard (or 2 or 3 or 40) in each school. I don't think this is an area where you can break down the cost and say "It's too expensive." I'm sure those families would pay whatever they had to to get their kids and teachers back. BUT along with arming the schools, they MUST get at least assault weapons off the market. They simply have no business being there. Looking at mental health and making sure we're getting these people the help they need (and even taking them out of society in these most rarest and extreme cases) No one answer will solve the problem. Everyone must come together and work towards a solution. Even if that means adding billions to the deficit every year AND getting rid of your guns.
Posted by: Ivan K Ryan | Dec 24, 2021 1:54:00 AM
I am not an advocate of assault rifles, However I can see the wisdom in having an armed person to protect schools. This guy didn't seem to slow down much in spite of the locked door. He just blew the door away. So much for the locked doors policy. I am convinced that if someone had a gun they could have stopped him before he killed those sweet kids. That wonderful principal could do nothing but throw herself between him and the kids. That only took one shot to kill her. What a waste of a wonderful life. What do you think she was thinking just before she died. Maybe she wished she had a gun. So I agree somewhat with the NRA. I don't think you should arm the teachers but an armed security officer makes sense, Obama wants gun control. Tell me what would happen if that person had tried to infiltrate the White House. Do they just lock the doors and tell bad people to go away?
If you believe that you are brain dead. He would have had more holes in him than a sieve. You can"t depend just on cameras and locked doors to defend you. There has to be a better way.
Posted by: jos sylvester | Dec 24, 2021 3:49:23 AM
The suggestion for armed cop in school is not only a misguided suggestion but a very backward thinking of people who don't care so long as they make their money. To them, their dream is money. The issue is to bring guns under control and to make owning weapons difficult for sick people and felons. Why must in any case people acquire assault weapons to protect themselves, when there are law enforcement agencies. There are instances where kids bring guns to school, this should not happen under any circumstance. Teachers do not need to carry weapons but chalks.
The Connecticut slaying of innocent children is the worst killing of this century. Get assault weapons off the streets and restrict possessing of weapons, only violent societies legalize carrying of weapons. The era of militias are long gone in the foray of american history and democracy is not synonymous with gun - carrying.
Posted by: JJ | Dec 24, 2021 8:32:54 AM
Arm the schools, arm the malls, arm the theatres, arm all public places. There is no end to what you will need to arm as there will be another assault and more killings. It gets me thinking that the US should be on a travel warning for all visitors to the US as I am getting a strong message that you are not safe anywhere there unless you are armed. Or wait, all the bad guys have guns but I as a tourist will not. Wait, arm all tourists coming in to the country - that should solve the problem. As far as I am concerned the nation is hell bent on an arms culture for the sole purpose of fuelling the war machine. Local civilian causualties of this culture are considered collateral damage a risk worth taking in order to have at the ready a standing military waiting to defend property, person,and maybe state. This was the intent of the secnd amendment and it is this mentality that will prevail in the US. The Swiss do this but they are much better at it than the US. Maybe there are some lessons to be learned as to how to get it right.
Posted by: Mr. Negative | Dec 24, 2021 12:19:02 PM
Won't work! First of all the armed police officer will spend most of his/her time reading the newspaper because these incidents don't happen everyday. Second of all, that police officer won't be responding to a call and cannot prepare for this type of event. We need to start focusing on the real reasons why people are so damn angry and would commit these crimes in the first place.
Posted by: Robert Nelson | Dec 25, 2021 5:16:01 PM
I am a Canadian who is not allowed to carry a gun.The bad guy does. I only wish we had the US
right to bear arms. They have several states that have armed their teachers. I know that it
would not cost a fortune to have the teachers trained to respond . We have brought up a total
generation of people who have no respect for life and their fellow man, this is the reason we
have all the violence.Banning guns will not change a thing (A man in China stabbed 23 Children
in a school. Should we ban Knives.?)
Posted by: Bud | Dec 26, 2021 7:09:46 AM
Hiring a cop at schools wouldn't be a bad idea if he could be kept awake. for 6 hours.While on a 1 hour lunch break and 1/2 hr rest breaks lunatics would do what they would have to do during this time. The NRA would like you to believe that everyone should be armed to protect themselves. So why not arm the 4,5,6.7, years with adult weapons such as the AK47's. can anyone imagine these children toting such weaponry. Seriously the NRA has the brains of a 4 year old. Schools should be made more secure by barbed wire fences you know something like a prison with security door locks. Half-wits and lunatics like to make a name for themselves so it will not stop the killing of innocent children.
Posted by: Bud | Dec 26, 2021 7:16:59 AM
A good idea would be to have a monitoring system by cameras when an unwanted individual showed up it would trigger an alarm. When an alarm would go off then it would be most likely that the individual would run away.