Spokane plans to place as many as 17 armed guards in schools

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — An agreement between the city and Spokane Public Schools would put up to 17 armed guards in district schools.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the plan will become official if approved by the City Council on Monday.

District safety director Mark Sterk says he expects the armed guards to be trained and on the job by January.

For now, the district is still negotiating with the guards' union representatives on what the union sees as a change in working conditions.

Sterk and the union agree on at least one thing: that the guards will be much like police officers.

“They’ll be in full uniform. They will look very much like a Spokane police officer,” Sterk told the Review. “We’ll be responsible for making sure that resource officers will be meeting all the requirements that are needed to be armed. … Nobody’s doing it like this. This is a new model.”

Spokane Education Association's Rebecca Powell says the guards didn't get hired to be law enforcement, which carries additional responsibility.

The district currently employs 13 school guards and one supervisor.