SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - As more details emerge surrounding the deadly shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that claimed the lives of 20 children and seven adults, security experts are weighing in on what can be done to prevent future tragedies at schools.
Homeland Security consultant Thomas Panuzio calls the shooting a game changer for the way school security will be handled across the country. Panuzio believes not enough precautions are being taken to protect children. "We must recognize that we are not doing enough on a national level to protect these kids," said Panuzio.
Panuzio, who is well-trained in preventing acts of terror says the most effective way to deter violent criminals from hurting children is to place higher numbers of armed law enforcement officers at schools. "The number one way we can protect these kids is to make sure there's somebody in that school that can terminate a situation like this before it's a mass killing," said Panuzio.
Similar to pilots who carry concealed weapons, Panuzio says it may eventually come down to teachers arming themselves to protect their classrooms. "If it's arming teachers or staying status quo, then arm the teachers, but I think that shouldn't be our first priority. Our first priority should be law enforcement," said Panuzio.
The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School will forever change the way security is handled at elementary schools, according to Panuzio. He says going forward, everyone from parents to teachers, to government agencies in Utah and nationwide need to devote as much time, money, and resources as possible to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again. "If we need more money, if the school districts need to raise more money - whatever it's going to take to make sure these kids are safe, then that's what we need to do," said Panuzio.