Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Tracie Mitchell
Staff Writer 

Firearms-in-school policy almost ready

TEN SLEEP – During the Ten Sleep School Board meeting Monday evening, board members learned from Ten Sleep School Superintendent Jimmy Phelps that the committee was almost finished creating the policy and that the policy would be brought to the board for review during the February school board meeting.

 

January 10, 2018



TEN SLEEP – During the Ten Sleep School Board meeting Monday evening, board members learned from Ten Sleep School Superintendent Jimmy Phelps that the committee was almost finished creating the policy and that the policy would be brought to the board for review during the February school board meeting.

“I plan to have it on the February agenda for public input,” Phelps said. He added that he will also be inviting Washakie County Sheriff Steve Rakness to attend as well.

Phelps explained to the board that Rakness went over the draft policy that the committee had created and advised the committee where changes were needed last week. Phelps also told the board that the committee has a phone meeting with psychologist Jerry Post out of Cheyenne regarding psychological evaluations being a part of the policy, as recommended by Rakness. According to the Post and Associates web site, Jerry Post specializes in police and public safety psychology, performing evaluations and managing services for first responders.

Rakness stated during the October 2017 meeting that the person or persons chosen would need to be vetted extremely well and would need to have a psychological evaluation. “It’s going to be hard because you are going to have to pick somebody that can bear that burden. You will have a hard time finding someone to do this kind of job because it’s going to be a 100 percent commitment. You’re going to have a firearm with you all the times and that’s a pretty big burden. Are you going to have somebody that will fit that role? How long are you going to look until you find somebody that can fit into that role,” Rakness said. “If you start a program here, you are going to have to keep doing it. You can’t start it and let it go. If you start it you have to keep going,” he added.

Once the committee finishes dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s the policy is to be sent to Ten Sleep School’s attorney Tracy Copenhaver, Phelps said.

Earlier this year the Wyoming Legislature passed Wyoming statute 21-3-132 giving the board of trustees the option to adopt rules and regulations allowing employees to possess firearms on campus.

In an earlier interview Ten Sleep School Superintendent Jimmy Phelps stated, “Sheriff Rakness informed us several years ago that in the event of an ‘active shooter,’ it could take them up to 20 minutes to get to our campus.  It would depend upon the location of the deputies at the time of the call.” He added, “Over the past several years, our district has done a lot of work to improve the security of our buildings and individual classrooms.  At a moment’s notice, we can now lock down the building, each classroom, restrooms, and make individual hallways inaccessible to an intruder.  At the same time, all individual key fobs become inoperable, so that if an intruder took a key fob away from a person, that intruder could not use it to gain access to the building or classrooms. This new statute gives us the ability to take aggressive action against an intruder in our building, not just lock down and hide.  Sheriff Rakness and the Washakie County Sheriff’s Office do a great job, but because of our distance from law enforcement, we need the ability to take aggressive action.”

 
 

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