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S.I. Council Proposes Armed Retired Officers Patrol Schools

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TWC News: S.I. Council Proposes Armed Retired Officers Patrol Schools
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After last month's Connecticut school shooting, an idea was approved by vote Monday on Staten Island to get retired police officers, with their guns, to protect students.

The borough's Community Education Council is proposing the city hire up to 500 retired officers to serve as plainclothes security guards, carrying concealed weapons and rotating among the city's schools.

In a letter posted online, the education council's president says its proposals are not about putting guns in schools, but about safety.

He says schools should have security cameras and buzz-in systems, but says retried police officers could play a role in protecting children and staff.

The city currently has school safety agents assigned to schools. They are active members of the NYPD, but they are unarmed.

The council only has the power to make recommendations.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Education have indicated they are not interested.

Meantime, New York's two U.S. senators are making their own push in the effort to combat gun violence.

Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are pushing for legislation to crack down on gun trafficking.

They also want to strengthen background checks.

The lawmakers have sent their plan to the presidential task force considering gun control measures.

"The federal government has an obligation to act and prevent tomorrow's senseless deaths by ensuring that guns stay out of the hand of criminals and those who are dangerously ill," Gillibrand said.

"Eighty-five to 90 percent of all guns that are used in crimes come from out of state. And they don't just come in randomly. They come from states with lax guns laws where just about anybody can buy a gun from another private citizen," Schumer said.

The bills would impose tougher penalties on gun runners and give the Attorney General's Office powers to regulate gun dealers.

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