Rock Hill Schools Contract with Allied Universal for Security Officers in Elementary Schools

ROCK HILL, S.C. – An added layer of security is coming to Rock Hill elementary schools. The district is contracting with a private company to hire armed security officers.

“It does provide some sort of comfort,” says Rock Hill parent Ashley McKnight.

Like other parents, she welcomes efforts to keep her son safe in school.

Rock Hill Schools announced Tuesday it’s adding armed security officers in all 17 elementary schools and at a child development center.

McKnight thinks the change could benefit teachers and staff.

“It would give them the support that they need just in case a situation out of their realm is unable to control, then you have the necessary resources already there,” she says.

But unlike in the middle and high schools, the officers won’t be from the Rock Hill Police Department or York County Sheriff’s Office.

Instead the district will contract with private security company Allied Universal.

Rock Hill Schools spokesperson Mychal Frost says the goal is to add a layer of protection – someone with a gun who is there if the worst happens.

“They’re not the right off the street security guard. It’s not your mall cop, while there nothing wrong with mall security, this is a little bit more involved,” Frost explains.

There are some specific qualifications. For example, all security officers must have at least five years armed experience to work in the schools.

The security officers will be phased into the schools by the end of September.