Rep. Steve Knight meets with law enforcement to discuss school safety

Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale)

Congressman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, met with local law enforcement to discuss guns and safety issues facing his 25th Congressional District constituents.

Knight met with officers and deputies from Simi Valley, retired LAPD and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department behind closed doors at The Centre off Centre Point Parkway.

There were two roundtable discussion that were closed to the media in order to foster open and honest dialogue aimed at legislation Knight intends to introduce, according to the release.

After the meeting, Knight met with The Signal to talk about how to protect our schools from dangers like an active shooter, and other concerns regarding gun policy.

“I think what we want to do is get the law enforcement professionals together and talk about all the issues, whether it be guns, whether it be more training or whether it be schools in general,” Knight explained. “We talked about a whole (gamut) of things, but it came down to we need more training.”

After the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Fla., mass shooting events and their prevention have been discussed at length nationally, at both the state and federal levels.

Knight expressed an interest in looking at federal grants that would support training school personnel in how to deal with an active shooter crisis.

“If money is (going to) come down from the federal government through a grant system, then we want to be able to use that in certain ways,” Knight said. “Maybe fortify our schools, maybe give training to our people in schools and give more training to our law enforcement.”

President Donald Trump has repeatedly talked about arming teachers as a viable options to help deter potential shooters and stop that cause shootings. Though some like Knight believe there is another path to take.

“I’m not going down the road of arming our teachers, I’m going down more of the road of, first everyone needs to be trained,” told Knight. “If you are in a school, we want to give you some training active shooter. And make sure that our deputies and our police come over to the schools and have a close connection with them.”

Another area he talked about was background checks for gun buyers. Making sure that “people who shouldn’t have a gun don’t have a gun.”

In a recently conducted online survey, Knight polled approximately 2,600 voluntary respondents on a variety of issues related to gun violence and safety. Approximately 65 percent of respondents supported more community engagement to report suspected individuals and inform appropriate parties. In addition, over 75 percent supported better enforcement of existing laws, according to a press release from Knights office.

After his meeting with law enforcement, Knight held 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.

“Our children deserve solutions, not just rhetoric.” Knight said in a prepared statement. “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.”

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