FLINT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (3/6/2018) - Kearsley Community Schools and the Brandon School District are two of 15 school districts getting armed security guard for free courtesy of a Flint Township-based firm.
DM Burr is offering the guards for two months as part of the company's Operation S.O.S. (Secure Our Schools) initiative. The schools can take armed or unarmed guards if they wish.
More Mid-Michigan schools are expected to be added to the program this spring.
DM Burr launched the initiative, which is being called the first of its kind in Michigan, in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting that left 17 people dead. The company wants to provide schools an immediate, on-site responder should violence break out.
“No child should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to school and no parent should have to wonder if their child will return home safe at the end of the day,” said John Allen, DM Burr’s CEO.
He hopes the initiative will give parents, students, teachers and administrators peace of mind.
"We wanted to be able to do it now, instead of waiting for legislation to come up with finances for schools to be able to have the money to do this," Allen added.
DM Burr will assign one guard to each district during school hours. The guards will work hand-in-hand with administrators and local law enforcement to learn emergency procedures.
It will be up to each district if they'd like the security officer to be armed.
"We're suggesting the armed portion just because of the fact that we want our person to be able to respond in a situation where we're trying to protect the children. And if they're armed, that's going to be able to help us in that situation," explained Mark Langkos, Director of Sales.
“We have been working with Michigan school districts for years to help keep students safe,” Allen said. “The mere presence of our officers is a proven deterrent. In the event of a threat, they are specially trained to work with law enforcement to take control of the situation.”
DM Burr says it already works with schools, corporations, and health care clients. The company has established partnerships with law enforcement agencies around Mid-Michigan.
Security guards at DM Burr receive training in firearms, first-aid, CPR, and active shooter scenarios. Many guards are retired or reserve police officers.
The company subjects its new hires to Michigan State Police background checks and ongoing FBI Live Scan reviews.