Several months ago WGNS learned about the Rutherford County Commission approving the purchase and installation of lock boxes in county operated schools. After we confirmed the purchase, we talked to Lisa Marchesoni the Public Information Officer of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office. She told us that she could not comment on the lock boxes because they were incorporated into a school safety plan.
Mayor Ernest Burgess confirmed the lock boxes this past February. We asked the mayor what would be stored in the boxes…
Now that school is about to get underway, we have received several emails asking us if we knew about lock boxes in county schools that were installed to specifically hold shotguns. We were even told by a knowledgeable source that the lock boxes were bolted to the concrete floor inside offices used by the School Resource Officer in each school. While we are not releasing the name of one of the credible sources that we talked to, we can tell you what questions we asked the Sheriff’s Office in regards to the lock boxes.
Below is an outline of the questions we asked Marchesoni:
1.) What is the reasoning behind a shotgun in the schools?
2.) Will the shotguns be taken into and out of the office daily in the morning and afternoon?
3.) Are these lock boxes accessible by the principal?
4.) Are the lock boxes always in the SRO office or sometimes elsewhere?
5.) Who came up with the idea to have lock boxes in the schools?
6.) Are the lockboxes in all county schools today or are some still being installed?
7.) How much did they cost?
The response we received on Monday afternoon was similar to the response we received several months ago when we originally brought the subject up. Marchesoni stated, “Because of security issues, we cannot discuss specifics of school safety plans.” That being said, we respect the need for safety but when we get more and more people questioning the reasoning behind the lock boxes, all we can do is continue to ask the question as to why an additional gun is needed when the school SRO’s are already armed.
More on this story will likely be discussed in the future.