By Ralph Iannotti

BUTLER (KDKA) – The debate over arming school police is back in the forefront after an area school district decided to give permission for school police to carry weapons on school property.

The Butler Area School District has decided to take school safety to a higher level

The School Board voted 8-1 to allow police to carry firearms on school property.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Strutt said the only time police would consider using a firearm is when someone was armed inside the building.

Strut said the district would save a substantial amount of money in training their officers because they all had training as Pennsylvania State Police troopers.

Butler School Police Officer Albert Vish retired from Pennsylvania State Police Butler barracks after 25 years. He said there is a need for the weapons.

“If something were to happen we certainly don’t have anything at present to take care of business and take care of what we’re here for,” Vish said.

The only no vote on the police was cast by James Keffalas.

“Until I see more evidence that we have a risk going on with people bringing weapons in that our metal detectors can’t take care of, I’m not ready to put guns in our schools,” Keffalas said.

The district will be the first in Butler County to arm school police.

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