Anchor Bay School District to hire armed security guards for schools this year

Posted at 6:20 AM, Sep 01, 2022

(WXYZ) — The Anchor Bay School District has voted to hire armed guards to keep students and staff safe this school year.

The school board voted 5 to 1 in favor of the proposal to hire the private security firm Fortis Group.

The protection service says they only hire retired law enforcement and military veterans as workers.

All parents who attended the meeting for the vote supported the district's decision.

"In the event that something did happen, when you compare Oxford with Uvalde, the amount of deaths is reduced when you have somebody there," parent Stephanie Richards said.

The district will start with five-armed security officers and eventually grow to 8.

The armed guards would wear normal street clothes but would have a holster visible.

The school board also plans on adding nearly 700 door barricades to school buildings.

"They've worked with juveniles. They've dealt with school issues. And they have the training experience and background to handle a critical incident should it occur," Fortis CEO Bian Bastianelli said.

School board member Jon Deroo is the only member on the board who voted against the decision. He believes the Chesterfield Police Department would be able to handle the job.

"I would be all about waiting a couple weeks, doing our due diligence and making sure we are putting the right people in the district to protect our kids," Deroo said.

Superintendent Phil Jankowski says the local departments do not have the personnel to provide daily coverage so the plan right now is to rotate the armed guards across the district.