Colo. School District Buys 10 Assault Rifles

District safety officials say the weapons are necessary to protect the district’s 86 schools.

A school district in Colorado purchased ten semi-automatic assault rifles for its security officers.

The Douglas County School District used $12,300 from its security budget to buy the weapons, which district officials say are necessary to maintain school security, according to The Denver Channel.

The district currently uses eight armed security officers with law enforcement experience that are armed with handguns. Officers currently undergo eight hours of active shooter training annually, and will be required to go through 20 hours of training from the sheriff’s department with the rifles before they are deployed.

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District Director of Safety and Security Rich Payne said the safety department decided the assault rifles were necessary after examining past school shootings and considering the district’s size. The district enrolls 76,000 students in 86 schools, including charter and alternative schools.

“One of my officers on patrol may be the first officer at the school. I want to make sure… if he is the first officer there, that he is prepared and has all the right tools he needs to keep everyone safe and secure,” Payne said.

District board members were not part of the decision making process because of the small cost of the purchase. One board member criticized the decision and the process for purchasing the guns.

Read Next: Arming Teachers: Calif. School District Becomes Latest to Adopt Policy

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