Topeka schools' police force wants semi-automatic rifles
The head of security for the Topeka school district is asking the board to give all its officers access to high-powered semi-automatic rifles, not just the ones contracted through the police department, following a review of security procedures in the wake of a deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.
The nearly 14,000-student district has 10 officers on a district-led force and contracts for an additional 10 through the Topeka Police Department. The district's force carries only semi-automatic handguns, while the officers contracted through the police department also carry semi-automatic rifles, said Ron Brown, the district's director of school safety.
Depending on where the contracted officers are working, the semi-automatic rifles are locked in gun safes in the schools or attached to electronically locking rifle racks in patrol vehicles.
Brown recently told the school board that he wants his officers to have semi-automatic rifles, too.
“Looking at the weaponry that the bad guys are using, it just appeared to us that additional fire power would be helpful,” he said in a telephone interview on Friday.