Several local schools implement armed security guards

PITTSBURGH — Several schools in the Pittsburgh area are taking security to the next level this year by adding armed security guards.

Target 11's Rick Earle learned Gateway, Mount Pleasant, Franklin Regional and Butler are among the districts in the area that have implemented the new program.

The largest school district in our region, the city of Pittsburgh, has school police officers but they don’t carry weapons.

Glenn Bonczek, who used to attend South Allegheny High School, is now back at his alma mater as head of security and dean of students.

Bonczek, a retired FBI agent, is also a Liberty Boro police officer and carries a gun with him at all times. He told Earle the school board came up with the concept.

“There might be an opportunity to incorporate an administrator who’s armed, so that there’s always a response within minutes,” Bonczek said.

During the past couple of years, the number of districts using armed security guards has increased from 118 two years ago to 141 this year.

“Clearly the circumstances have changed since I attended this high school. To address those needs, it’s prudent upon school districts to step up and be prepared,” Bonczek said.