Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Police Chief Daniel Garcia Cautiously Assure Local Safety in Response to Newtown Shooting

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Photo by Matthew Hendley
Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia (at podium), along with (left to right) city Councilman Michael Nowakowski, Mayor Greg Stanton, City Manager David Cavazos, and Assistant Police Chief Jim Piña.


City of Phoenix officials cautiously assured the safety of kids in city schools this afternoon, after 27 people -- including 20 children -- were reportedly shot dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

See also:
-More Than Two Dozen Dead Following Shooting at Newtown, CT Elementary School

Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia and Mayor Greg Stanton both said local schools are safe for the kids, but both noted that shootings like this do happen.

"Unfortunately, we live in a society where we must be prepared for this type of incident," Garcia said.

He went on to say that city schools are "absolutely" going to be safe, and said there will be an increased police presence at the schools starting Monday, which will continue until they're all on recess for the winter break. Before the kids go back to school after the break, police and school officials will "reassess" the extra cops around schools, Garcia said. He also noted that not every school has a dedicated "school resource officer," but said every school does get covered by officers in the area.

However, Garcia said, "We can't live in fear of this type of incident."

Neither Garcia nor Stanton got political about the incident, but they both stressed the importance of youngsters reporting any weird stuff going on at school.

Stanton said people at the city would have to do some "soul searching" before figuring out "how to best proceed."

"As a large city, we are not immune from anything," Stanton said.

Meanwhile, Garcia said situations similar to the shooting in Connecticut can be avoided -- sometimes -- but reassured media members that PPD's got things pretty well under control.

"We have averted situations similar to this since I've been here," Garcia said (he's been here since May).

Garcia said he wouldn't elaborate, but did say there was an incident in which someone reported a 16-year-old girl carrying knives, and apparently had made some sort of threat. She was arrested without incident, Garcia said.

The overall message from Stanton and Garcia was that city schools are safe. Stanton said his son -- a 5-year-old boy in kindergarten -- will be going back to school on Monday, and encouraged other parents to follow suit.

Meanwhile, reports from the press conference involving Arizona's schools superintendent John Huppenthal don't sound so reassuring.

"The state's top education official said this afternoon it's up to parents and not his agency to ensure that local schools have threat-assessment and violence prevention programs to prevent shootings like the one in Connecticut," reports Capitol Media Services' Howie Fischer.

Huppenthal, a supporter of pro-firearm legislation during his time as a state legislator, reportedly called talk about gun legislation "inappropriate" this afternoon.


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26 comments
robert_graham
robert_graham topcommenter

Anybody who illegally possesses a firearm should get life in prison without the possibility of parole.

sarum
sarum

Most of the public schools that I am familiar with have extremely open design with multiple unguarded means of access to the campus.  There is no assurance for what anybody can see with the naked eye.  I am not going to outline possible scenarios here - making a how - to  - but for a parent it is absolutely terrifying.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Who is going to protect the children from Huppenthal or the conservative cabal which under-funds both education and mental health, but have no problem passing legislation to name a state gun.

dkessler4
dkessler4

I agree with Joshua. The instrument used to kill is not the problem. If we are going to ban things that kill people we would be better to go after automobiles. Cars kill more people than do guns. In our haste to go after some "thing" to blame we are missing the point. The killer's brother said that the killer had been diagnosed as having a "personality disorder." Certainly the psychologist who was killed during the tragedy would have told others that good mental health treatment might have saved everyone including the killer. I can say this because I performed the same job (as a psychologist) here in Arizona for over 35 years. I can also tell you that since Arizona gives a lower priority in its budget for mental health services than any other state in the country that we can expect people like Jared Loughner (who also had mental health problems) to continue to plague our state. Ban guns and the killers will use knives as recently happened in China where 22 students were stabbed. If you want to deal with this problem look to how we can deal with the individual at the center of the tragedy to prevent the problem.

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

Oh boy I feel so much safer because the same Cop that left Dallas with one of the highest crime rates in the country and.moved here said the.schools are safe.here

Timothy Reisert
Timothy Reisert

I'm sure the government will do just as fine a job eliminating guns as they've done eliminating drugs, or alcohol during prohibition, or poverty since we declared war on it back in the sixties. Then we'll all be safe.

Joshua Friedman
Joshua Friedman

Ok, so if he would have stabbed those people to death, would you try to ban Swiss Army knives, or had he used a baseball bat, would you have tried to ban Louisville Slugger. We need to better monitor the people not the weapons...

Safira Umm Haroun Felix
Safira Umm Haroun Felix

This is just terrorizing people. I mean, now everyone is going to panic, worry over their kids, tell their kids to worry, lock down the schools, get the police to do more patrols, and so on. Doesn't anybody ever consider the possibility that the culture of fear might be a driving factor in these incidents?

Paul Merrill
Paul Merrill

Tim, I get your sarcasm. If you were to ask a real question I'm sure it would be, Who thought it was ok for this guy to have a gun? Oh, WE did!? Well then how can we be sure to trust anyone with a gun? We CAN'T!? Well then WHY T F do we have guns in America?

Gregory Bill Jacklin
Gregory Bill Jacklin

How can our schools here be safe when for profit prison guards are used to raid our schools? Our teachers are not allowed to carry so this can and has happened in Arizona in the past and can happen today. Criminals will always have guns. The comments made by the Mayor and Police Chief have no ground of the truth of the world we live in.. SHEEP KEEP DRINKING THE KOOLAID..

Timothy Reisert
Timothy Reisert

If only they'd thought of having a gun-free school zone....they did ?...well, then how did the shooter get his gun past those signs ? Didn't he know they have zero tolerance for guns at school and that it was against the law to bring the gun inside that school zone ?

Dean Ballard
Dean Ballard

Americans and their guns... When will we learn?

Marlos Hill
Marlos Hill

Joshua you beat me to it. Allaying fears i get but there's no such thing as "safe"

Joshua Friedman
Joshua Friedman

The Phoenix schools are as safe as the CT school was prior to this tragedy happening. Noone can say when or where things like this can happen.

robert_graham
robert_graham topcommenter

@shadeaux14 Conservatives want gun control, Democrats want more guns on the street. Democrats believe that convicted murders should all have guns. What's your fucking problem?

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

@dkessler4 Worked in the mental health system in Arizona also and one problem I noticed years ago is that, in other states, people with certain Personality Disorders get treatment. In Arizona, they get elected.

cassityg32
cassityg32

@dkessler4 well to that logic, the same could be said about pot or crack or heroin. Alone they aren't a problem but used they can be highly dangerous. It's been proven in states/countries with stricter gun laws there is significantly less gun related deaths. Example: Last year, Great Britain had a total of EIGHT gun related deaths, Canada =52, Germany =42, United States =TEN THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED & FOURTY EIGHT. You can't tell me stricter gun laws wouldn't prevent so many deaths.

cassityg32
cassityg32

@Joshua Friedman @ well to that logic, the same could be said about pot or crack or heroin. Alone they aren't a problem but used they can be highly dangerous. It's been proven in states/countries with stricter gun laws there is significantly less gun related deaths. Example: Last year, Great Britain had a total of EIGHT gun related deaths, Canada =52, Germany =42, United States =TEN THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED & FOURTY EIGHT. You can't tell me stricter gun laws wouldn't prevent so many deaths.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@JoeArpaioFan actually you have it wrong. many republicans are NRA members and pro-gun, whereas many dems are gun control. and as for making dumb choices of who should have guns, Brewer wants gun rights restored to mentally ill people. so you missed the mark on every single point

sarum
sarum

@shadeaux14 @dkessler4 AZ has long been a trendsetter in certain capacities - this is one of them.  (LOL) Also there are no checks and balances in the system - absolute power creates absolute insensitive ignorant boors - once again the field is populated with rubber stampin robo-signers who dare not question the authority of the Doc in power - take a good look at those docs - they act like the inmates guarding the asylum and due to poor budget they can't do much in most cases except mundane processing which amounts to legally covering state of AZ hind end and nothing else.  That is all it is - compliance with federal law.

Psychiatry goes insane: Every human emotion now classified as a mental disorder in new psychiatric manual DSM-5

http://www.naturalnews.com/038322_DSM-5_psychiatry_false_diagnosis.html

Remember - this is a growth industry.  China has now accepted our western view (& Rx) for "mental illness" vs their traditional way of seeking cause.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@cassityg32  they wont unless those laws are laws like keeping them out of the hands of the mentally ill. in Arizona we have decided to restore gun rights to those people, and that is is a big problem. I am a gun advocate, but am extremely against the moves we have made involving guns. we are restoring gun rights to the mentally ill, we are allowing guns to be carried concealed without permits, we are allowing guns to be carried in bars or places that serve open alcohol, and for a short period of time guns were allowed on campus. if you have a gun advocate like myself saying that that is a stupid move....then there is a problem

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

@danzigsdaddy Remember danzig, this is no longer part of the United States, the electorate has proven that this is already the Republikkk of Dumfuckistan, Secession is just a formality at this point.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@cassityg32 sadly though, this country is on the brink of another civil war, and too many people will not give up their guns or gun rights with all the fear and animosity that is prevailent in this country right now. we have too many people spreading fear and hate, and because of that i feel my solution or your solution will not come into effect or even be effective. maybe years ago either of these factors may have helped, but not in this day and age. 

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@cassityg32  not arguing, but, the assault rifle was in the car and not on him. that doesnt invalidate your point, and i being a gun advocate do agree with you on the assault rifle point though. but i just see restoring gun rights to the mentally ill like we do in Az as setting something like this up to happen again. i am agreeing with you to a point, that there needs to be a little more control, but i am standing firm on the part of where we need more mental health care available. we need to get help for those who are ill, not give them their gun rights back.

cassityg32
cassityg32

@danzigsdaddy thus my stance for STRICTER gun laws. I also don't understand why people feel the need to carry heavy assault weapons such as the one used in this case or in the Colorado theater shooting. In this case, like in many stricter laws for the mentally ill would have done no good because a mentally ill person wasn't given any weapons. It was the ignorant "sane" mother of this boy who owned these guns for what reason ill never know but basically she armed her son. To many cases of ignorant people not just mentally ill. Not to mention, I've worked with the mentally ill & among other reasons, how do you think it's discovered that they ARE mentally ill? Not to mention those in denial who refuse to have their kids evaluated or who refuse to be evaluated. Stricter laws for the mentally ill are a good idea but will do VERY little in preventing this kind of tragedy.

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