December 17, 2012
Respectfully prepared for:
Yancey County Commissioners: Chairman Johnny Riddle, Commissioner Randy Ollis, Commissioner Jeff Whitson, Commissioner Jim Edwards, Commissioner Jill Austin
Yancey County Board of Education: Chairman Mike Orr, Member Charles Jack Tipton, Member Bill Whiteside, Member Norb McKinney, Member Angie Weatherman
Tim Tipton - I am a certified police officer, I am SRT certified, I worked for several years as a deputy sheriff, police officer and as a criminal investigator. I have had numerous training classes involving many topics including school safety and active shooter response. I have also been in several armed confrontations in the line of duty and I have had to use a firearm against a suspect with a firearm in a deadly force situation. I know what it is like to quickly address priorities in the line of fire. After moving back to Yancey Co. I have worked for some of the top security companies in the area including Mission Hospital, which is top notch in my opinion. After the shooting in the Amish school several years ago, Yancey County school safety was on my mind then and definitely is now. I have two daughters who attend Yancey County Schools.
On Friday December 14th, 2012, a heavily armed man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and unleashed absolute terror on children and teachers, shooting and killing twenty defenseless children who were 6 and 7 years old and six adults who were school personnel. Two other school system employees were wounded as well.
Yancey County Schools are NOT as safe as they should be. We ask that you as leaders of our county and school system take immediate action to put in place a feasible plan to ensure that all schools in Yancey County have a certified police officer during all hours in which school is in session.
It is not fair nor appropriate to ask unarmed school personnel to risk death by confronting an armed person. That is the job for well trained and well equipped police officers. It is time to act. Not overreact, not panic, not step on rights, not live in fear and not give up. Maybe we cannot completely stop these types of attacks from occurring, but we are not powerless to them either as some people seem to think. We MUST take steps to make positive changes which will make our schools safer. This is adding officers. Our kids and teachers deserve it.
We are sure the issue of funding will come up along with a myriad of other reasons why adding a police officer to every school can't be done. However, the HIDE and HOPE method for safety and security is a failure. And unfortunately locked doors only keep honest and sane people out. Enough is enough. SECURITY of KIDS and TEACHERS should be paramount above all. If Yancey County Schools can afford ESL teachers, complete medical centers, school nurses and so on (all of which are important) then the issue of security MUST be addressed as well.
As citizens of Yancey County, North Carolina we petition you our community leaders to direct your attention immediately to this issue and devise a plan that insures a certified police officer will be in EVERY school in Yancey County by the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year or earlier if possible.
Going to school is required by North Carolina law and we expect our children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends to be as safe as possible. As citizens of Yancey County we expect this to be accomplished without excuse or delay as NOTHING should hold more importance to you than the safety of innocent children, our loved ones.
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