Funding Remains An Issue For Additional Police In Arizona Schools

For Arizona and local law enforcement leaders, campus security remains a concern, with that group including Gov. Doug Ducey and including Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone.

Penzone is in support of Ducey’s request for an officer on high school campuses, which the governor addressed briefly this week in his State of the State speech.

The budget will include enough money for police on any school that is interested in staffing one.

“Having law enforcement professionals on campus who have a limited responsibility solely for safety, I absolutely support (Ducey),” Penzone said Tuesday. “As a society we need to find ways to do a better job to keep the threat away from the schools so that we’re not dependent on officers to keep our children safe on the campus,” he said. 

One year ago, Ducey introduced a school safety plan that requested additional police in schools, more counselors, improved background checks and restricting “dangerous individuals” from having access to firearms. 

After many legislators said they thought the gun stipulation could violate civil rights, the bill failed.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to consider this or that we have a need for it,” Penzone said. “But I commend the governor by having the courage to speak to it and want to find a way to fund it because it is absolutely a step in the right direction for safety.”