Compton school officials passed a new policy last month allowing some campus officers to carry AR-15 rifles, citing other local school police departments that have also armed themselves with high-powered firearms in case of life-threatening emergencies.
One of those agencies is the Baldwin Park School Police, which is made up of 10 officers who serve 20 Baldwin Park schools and district facilities.
“We need to make sure that we have the proper firepower to overcome the resistance of the suspects who may be carrying assault rifles,” said Police Chief Jill Poe.
When the department receives a tip, Poe said investigators will research the threat before contacting a parent or teacher.
"We don't profile students whatsoever," Poe said. "The information comes to us, whether it's from social media, whether it's from a parent, whether it's other students, we take it case by case."
In case of a large-scale threat, the school police will ask for assistance from the Baldwin Park Police Department.
"If we need additional resources, it's a phone call away for us," Poe said.
School police go through the same training as any other officer.
"We are a self-serving department, so we handle our investigations from the beginning to the end," said Poe, a 20-year law enforcement veteran. "We don't take anything lightly."