Douglas County, Colorado, will begin arming school security guards with semiautomatic rifles within the next month in order to protect students from mass shootings, according to the Denver Post.
Security officers will begin using the rifles after they complete the same 20-hour training that police officers go through, according to the Denver Post. Some security officers will receive the guns within a month, while others will get them in August.
Richard Payne, the school district’s director of security, told the Denver Post that the security guards are all former law enforcement officers and will keep the semiautomatic rifles locked in patrol cars while they are on duty at county schools.
“They will not be in the schools,” he said.
Payne told the Denver Post in that he decided to spend more than $12,000 on 10 rifles for his security guards in January. He said that the security officers at the schools had been undergoing training with local law enforcement and that the police officers had been training with rifles.
“We want to make sure they have the same tools as law enforcement,” Payne said.
Payne did not consult with the Douglas County school board before purchasing the new firearms, according to the Denver Post.