New task force examining security at Shelby County Schools

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell announced Thursday he had formed a 10-member task force to examine security at Shelby County Schools following last week's shooting at a Florida high school.

The task force, which was formed last Friday, held its first meeting Wednesday.

Members, including Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings and Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson, met for about an hour, Luttrell said, and traded ideas.

“We’ll consider every proposal that comes to the table and decide what’s feasible and what’s practical," said Luttrell.

At Wednesday's meeting, Luttrell said the task force discussed:

1. Strengthening security at all Shelby County School campuses

2. Providing threat-assessment and readiness training for students, faculty and staff

3. Enhancing collaboration among law enforcement and school security officers

4. Ensuring a coordinated and swift response about threatening social media posts

5. Continuing to provide free active shooter training for citizens and community groups

6. Encouraging citizens to be the eyes and ears of law enforcement and report suspicious activity

Concerned citizens applauded the creation of the task force.

"Anything that we can do to keep children safer, especially in schools, I think, is absolutely a good thing," said Stephen Larkin.

Asked if the task force had discussed arming teachers, Luttrell replied: "It’s an obvious issue that comes up. It’s whether or not we want to pursue it and how we want to pursue it.”

Krystal Larkin had her own suggestions regarding how the district and law enforcement handle shooting threats.

"We need to take them seriously when they do occur. Everyone needs to be investigated and there are no jokes when it comes to shooting up a school," she said.

Rallings declined to comment about the task force when approached at a meeting Thursday night.

Below are listed all 10 members of the task force:

  • Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell
  • Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland
  • Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson
  • Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings
  • Shelby County Schools Director of Student Services Gerald Darling
  • Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Floyd Bonner
  • Shelby County Office of Preparedness Director Dale Lane
  • United States Attorney for Western District of Tennessee Michael Dunavant
  • Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich
  • Memphis and Shelby Crime Commission President Bill Gibbons