BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - A South Georgia school board is debating whether to allow their resource officers to carry tasers while on duty in schools.
Bainbridge Public Safety officers are equipped with tasers, in addition to their firearms.
“Most of the officers are equipped with tasers,” said School Resource Officer Chief Maurice Gaines, “and I just feel like the officers in our department, which is the Decatur County School Police Department, need to carry a taser as well.”
Chief Gaines has been a SRO for the past 16 years and said he believes tasers are usually the more appropriate response to incidents in a school environment.
“Mainly football games, basketball games, or when you're in tight quarters with a lot of people and anything can happen,” said Chief Gaines.
It's that exact reason why student parent Zinta Johnson said she'd prefer officers use tasers over guns when responding to riots or other situations on school grounds.
“Yes, in a school environment,” said Johnson. “Because you can always tase them on the arm or on the leg, just to get them down and subdue them.”
Chief Gaines said the tasers would cost around $8,000, but he said the safer environment that comes along with the weapons is well worth it.
“All parents want their kids to come to school to be safe,” said Chief Gaines. “And it's not just the kids that we're concerned about; it's the outside coming in.”
The school board decided to table the proposal until July's meeting.