FLEOA Letter to NSA for Safer Schools

October 25, 2020

Sheriff Bill Brueggemann

Chairman, School Safety and Security Committee

National Sheriffs Association

1450 Duke Street

Alexandria, VA 22314

Dear Sheriff Brueggmann,

We are writing to you today to express our strong support for your efforts to ensure that school safety remain a top priority in our nation and that those schools that maintain a focus on security and safety are able to be identified. As the nation's largest professional non-partisan association, representing almost 29,000 federal law enforcement officers from across all 65 federal agencies, FLEOA has been a strong advocate of both protecting our nation’s students and ensuring that schools are and remain safe. 

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with calls to defund law enforcement have placed school security and safety in a precarious position. Many school districts around our nation have become solely focused on the mitigation of the pandemic, often to the detriment of school safety. Additionally, the defund police movement has forced many school districts to remove School Resource Officers which retracts from over a decade of work to enhance school security.

This despite data that showing that prior to the pandemic and school closures, on average, more children die from gun violence in schools each year than have thus far died during this pandemic. What these statistics highlight is how school districts may be sacrificing real safety for apparent safety. Mistakenly, school districts are thinking the pandemic procedures are a shield from real safety and security mitigation measures.

This approach is misguided and if not identified and addressed, will only give parents a false sense that the school their children may walk into during or after this pandemic, is as safe as it was prior to. Parents and communities deserve to know which schools are embracing real safety and security and an effort like this would help do so.

Larry Cosme
National President
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association