Mayor: New Bedford Schools ‘As Safe as Can Be’
NEW BEDFORD — With the latest incidents of deadly mass shootings taking place around the country this past weekend, the concern of how to protect the nation’s most vulnerable places comes into question.
As the summer begins its final stretch, the discussion of how to prevent these tragedies from occurring in school buildings continues.
During his weekly appearance on the Barry Richard Show, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell discussed the tragedies and the level of security currently present at all school buildings in the city.
“You can’t look at what happened this past weekend in Dayton and El Paso and not be concerned, especially given that these are obviously piggybacking off a whole other series of similar events around the country and it doesn’t seem to be abating at all. It’s happening really everywhere. There’s no corner of the country that hasn’t been affected one way or the other,” said Mayor Mitchell.
“There is per capita more of these events happening in this country by far than any other country in the world. There can be debates about why that is precisely, but the reality is that this is an American thing.”
Mayor Mitchell says the City has invested “hundreds of thousands of dollars” into bolstering up security at New Bedford schools directly in response to the uptick of school shootings in recent years.
“The school systems have already done the training, the so-called ALICE training. We’ve been doing that in municipal buildings as well as in schools and we’re going to have to continue do that,” Mitchell said.
“These aren’t just like one-time events. This has to be a part of what we do, unfortunately, because of the persistent risk out there.”
WBSM’s Barry Richard went on to press the Mayor about his stance on an idea, suggested last year by President Donald Trump, to allow willing teachers of staff in a school building to arm themselves in the classroom. Mayor Mitchell says he disagrees with the idea, questioning its effectiveness and stating that he believes securing municipal buildings should be left to the police department.
Even with armed teachers or additional armed security, Mayor Mitchell says it still might not be enough to prevent deaths in a mass shooting.
“The tricky part is that it’s been proving to not be entirely preventable. If you look at, for instance, what happened in Dayton, that guy got off something like more than 50 rounds in a matter of 24-seconds,” the Mayor explained.
“The police were there. The police were on that guy in less than a minute and he still killed nine people and injured 31 others. Like, the police were there and he did this right nearby police officers.