Armed deputies will now guard some local schools

Armed deputies will now guard some local schools
BOTHELL, Wash. -- A special unit of armed deputies will now patrol many Snohomish County schools as part of a dramatic new effort to increase school security.

The Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut was a sickening reminder of just how vulnerable schools can be, and it was also a wake-up call for one local sheriff.

"It impacted me more than anything in my 43 years of public service," said Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick.

Lovick is now launching a special unit of deputies to protect schools.

"For these kids, they should come to the school and realize these officers are there. They are simply the good guys, they are their friends," Lovick said.

Lovick kicked off the new School Services Unit at Woodside Elementary near Bothell. The unit will have five armed deputes patrolling more than 100 public and private school in unincorporated parts of the county and be paid for by the Snohomish County sheriff's office.

Local parents say having armed deputies at school is a bold movie.

"I think they definitely feel more comfortable to have the presence of the sheriff and the deputy around," said parent Joy Caldwell.

The principal at Woodside said school workers will explain to the kids why deputies are in the school.

"Well, it's just another leader in the community that's here to make sure that things are safe and to be a helper and to be a mentor," said principal Betty Cobbs.

In the end, many parents say anything that can keep another Sandy Hook-type massacre from happening is a good thing.

"That guy broke through a window, but if there is a deputy here he might be able to have a gun and shoot somebody," one parent said.

Lovick said not all schools will have an armed deputy all day, but he hopes the unit sends a strong message that the schools are well protected.