On Thursday, Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) hosted two roundtable discussions with local and federal law enforcement professionals to discuss school safety and measures to prevent school shootings. Both of these roundtables were private discussions in order to foster open and honest dialogue for the purpose of sharing ideas and expertise to craft legislation that Rep. Knight intends to introduce.
The first roundtable was a live meeting held in Santa Clarita with representatives from the Simi Valley Police Department, retired LAPD officers, and the Los Angeles Sheriff Department Stations in Santa Clarita, Palmdale, and Lancaster.
The second roundtable was a teleconference with representatives of the National Association of School Resource Officers, Major County Sheriffs of America, Fraternal Order of Police, National Sheriffs Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association, National Association of Police Organizations, State Criminal Investigative Agencies, National Fusion Center Association, and the Federal Law Enforcement Officer Association.
“The institutions that are meant to protect our children failed us last month.” Said Rep. Knight. “Too often after these tragedies, we hear of red flags that were missed or warnings that went unheeded. This is unacceptable. Rather than point fingers at others, it’s well past time we bring in all parties to deliver bipartisan policy improvements to ensure the safety of our classrooms and children.”
In a recently conducted online survey, Rep. Knight polled approximately 2,600 voluntary respondents on a variety of issues related to gun violence and safety. Approximately 65% of respondents supported more community engagement to report suspected individuals and inform appropriate parties. In addition, over 75% supported better enforcement of existing laws.
“Our children deserve solutions, not just rhetoric.” Said Rep. Knight “As an 18 year veteran of the LAPD and active member of the Law Enforcement Task Force, I know there are things our officers on the ground know that lawmakers in Washington just can’t understand without being there. Today’s conversations were very productive and I look forward to using this input as I craft legislation to address this urgent challenge. We can no longer play the political blame-game as these tragedies continue to unfold.”
The information gathered in today’s discussion will be used by Rep. Knight and his staff to craft targeted legislation with the explicit purpose of detecting, stopping, and better responding to school shooting threats. This legislation is expected to be ready for introduction in the coming weeks.