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Lincoln Officials Discuss Security, Gun Control

By: Stephanie Morrissey Email
By: Stephanie Morrissey Email

Gun control has become a topic of debate and concern ever since the Newtown, Connecticut shooting. Here at home, it's prompting discussion between a number of government officials.

Lincoln middle school's lost their armed police officers in 2010 to increase public police presence. Now, Lincoln's mayor and a city councilman want them back and they're ready to find the money to do it.

"It should be obvious that the safety of our children is a prime consideration to everybody," said Lincoln Mayor, Chris Beutler.

In a letter to Lincoln School Board members, the mayor and City Councilman, Gene Carroll, say it's time to put officers back in middle schools.

But adding those officers costs money and it's still unclear where the dollars will come from.

"The conversation of cost is something the public needs to weigh in on. Do we need or want to spend money on the safety of our children in the city of Lincoln?" Carroll said.

Gun violence isn't only a worry for schools. Some city officials are considering taking extra precautions at the County/City building downtown.

"Any government building is a potential target. When bad guys know guns aren't allowed in those buildings they know they can walk in with impunity," said Lancaster County Sheriff, Terry Wagner.

County Treasurer and past Sheriff's Deputy, Andy Stebbing, wants a city ordinance amended, making it legal for retired officers to carry concealed weapons in government buildings without a permit.

"I think if something should occur over there even though we're steps away, the notification process may take a few minutes. It's incumbent on those who are trained and qualified to do so to protect not only themselves but their employees," said Wagner.

Carrying a concealed weapon under the proposed amendment would require 15 years law enforcement experience and yearly training. Only Stebbing and two other employees meet that.


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