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Op-Ed School Safety Should Not Be A Partisan Issue

Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta 13th LD

Last week, Democrats in the Suffolk County Legislature tabled my proposal to help make our schools less prone to shootings. The proposal doesn’t degrade any other county services, it doesn’t cost taxpayers anything more, nor does it infringe on anyone’s constitutional rights, it does, however, come from a Republican. Majority Democrats like Senator-elect Monica Martinez and Legislator Rob Calarco blocked my proposal, yet previously spent 2 million dollars of taxpayer money on an app that could be used by some school personnel to speed-dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency, an app, whose own terms of use state that it should not be used as a substitute for dialing 9-1-1. The steps that we take as elected officials must be responsible ones, driven by public safety, not public relations, and there is no place for playing politics when it comes to the safety of our children and teachers.

You don’t need to have been a police officer or a detective, like I was for 25 years, to know that bad guys like soft targets. No, my bill doesn’t require that we arm teachers or principals; it would simply require shift changes for Suffolk County Police Officers to occur at schools rather than at fire departments where practical. As a police officer, I participated in thousands of shift changes and each of them could have been conducted at a school. A greater police presence at schools, even if it’s just for 30 additional minutes three additional times per day can only help in preventing further tragedies.

While the national debate on this issue can be a contentious and unproductive one, often pitting those who want to abolish the Second Amendment against powerful and righteous Constitutionalists, my initiative is one that both Democrats and Republicans can support, or at least, they should.

In the United States, since 2005, there have been 10 school shootings where at least five people were killed. Suffolk’s lawmakers have a duty to ensure we are implementing common- sense and constitutional solutions to combat this epidemic. Sadly, my initiative, which neither comes at any additional cost to taxpayers, nor infringes on any American’s constitutional rights is being blocked by Suffolk County Democrats.


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