NASRO director raises questions about schools' safety as there was no SRO during Nashville shooting

NASRO director raises questions about schools' safety as there was no SRO during Nashville shooting
Mo Canady, executive director of the Hoover-based NASRO, spoke about SROs in light of the Nashville shooting carried out by Audrey Hale (inset) (WVTM13/video scheeshots; Metropolitan Nashville Police Department)

Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion advised.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: Audrey Hale, 28, went on a shooting spree at the Covenant School in Nashville, killing six including three children. This has raised questions about school safety and an urgent action to prevent gun violence. The horrific incident, which took place on Monday, March 27, is now the 129th mass shooting in the US. Kimberly Garcia, who lost her 10-year-old daughter, Amerie Jo Garza, in the Uvalde mass shooting on May 24, 2022, tweeted, “When is enough going to be enough? 6 more innocent lives taken? But it’s not the guns right? Wake up people."

Mo Canady, executive director of the Hoover-based National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), said that this was a reminder that both anger and violence were on the rise. "It's a vicious cycle quite frankly at the moment and very disturbing. No question about it," said Canady, per WVTM13. He said that when the Covid-19 pandemic started in the year 2020, schools around the country opted out from keeping school resource officers. He added that they were "now turning around and trying to figure out how to put the SRO back in school because of the levels of violence that they're dealing with."


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There was no SRO at Covenant School 

Canady said that the school safety was handled in different ways in a public school and a private school, adding that public schools usually have school resource officers. He said, "First of all, everything that I'm understanding about this is case is that there was not an SRO there. But I'd like to say, I really have to commend Metro Nashville PD for their response time. That was a very quick response. 14 minutes from getting the call to putting the suspect down is a pretty phenomenal response time with no SRO on campus."

According to ABC News, Nashville police received a call from the school at 10.13 am about Hale, who allegedly entered the Nashville school through a side entrance and went from the first floor to the second floor as he fired gunshots. When police arrived, he fired shots at them from a second floor window. Five cops arrived on the second floor and shot him. At 10.27 am, he was declared dead.


Commenting on their prompt action, Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said, as stated by CBS News, "We would never wait to make entry and to go in and to stop a threat, especially when it deals with our children." Police in Uvalde were widely criticized for taking 77 minutes to take an action at Robb Elementary School, knowing children were trapped with gunman Salvador Ramos, a former student of the school who killed 19 children and two teachers.

'The goal is to negate that shooter'

Matt Doherty, a former Secret Service agent at the National Threat Assessment Center, who currently works as a workforce risk management director, said, "If a police officer is reluctant to go in on an active assailant scenario, they're in the wrong line of work. We've seen in the past where hesitancy is not the best practice. The best practice is to immediately go in - and not only that, they have to bypass any injured people because the goal is to negate that shooter."


Canady pointed out, "I've seen some strategies occur that seem to be working where a private school hires a newly-retired or recently-retired officer or deputy and is able to bring them in and privately pay them, as opposed to that going through the city or the county." However, he stressed on the fact that leaving even one entrance unsecured could allow the attacker to walk in and do the damage.

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 NASRO director raises questions about schools' safety as there was no SRO during Nashville shooting