2 western Pa. districts arming police at schools

By Joe Mandak

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Dec. 17 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

The Pennsylvania Department of Education doesn't "sign off on the arming of school police," according to press secretary Tim Eller. Instead, the school code requires districts to get court authorization for officers to carry weapons. According to a database provided by the department, 130 of 765 school districts, charter schools, and vo-tech schools had officers authorized to carry weapons before the two Butler County districts joined them Monday.

Pittsburgh Public Schools has its own police department and staffs schools with unarmed officers who work closely with city police. Officials with the city district didn't immediately comment on whether any security changes might be forthcoming after the Connecticut shooting.

The Philadelphia City School District has 501 school police and 85 school security officers, but none are authorized to carry guns, according to the database.

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