AR sheriff supports plan to cross-train teachers as deputies

CROSS COUNTY, AR (WMC) - The sheriff in Cross County, Arkansas, has a plan to get weapons in the hands of teachers.

Sheriff JR Smith took to Facebook to share a plan pitched to him by a fellow sheriff that he said he is willing to adopt.

The sheriff said he would deputize school teachers, administrators, and staff.

He said teachers who want to participate would need to go through extensive firearms training. They would also undergo psychological testing.

The teachers would take a part-time class that includes active shooter training.

After completing the 120-hour class, the teachers would be fully qualified as Cross County deputies and carry law enforcement authority.

Smith said he also wants to install metal detectors in all schools in Wynne and Cross County School District.

Parents willing to speak to WMC Action News 5 said despite the recent school shooting headlines, they disagree with the sheriff's solution.

"It can happen anywhere but still changing it to having more guns in the schools ain't going to make it any more safe," grandparent Lenell Aldridge said.

"As a community, we're going to have to come together and do something more than we're doing now at least to make the kids feel safe," Smith said.

Meanwhile, Wynne Public Schools Superintended Carl Easley said they are looking to add metal detectors in their school.

Cross County Superintendent Nathan Morris said he plans to meet with Smith about adding resource officers at the district's schools.

Neither superintendent said affirmatively whether or not they plan to arm their teachers.

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