Mesa, AZ School Asks Officer Not to Wear Uniform on Campus

From http://www.myfoxphoenix.com by Nicole Garcia, October 2, 2013
MESA, Ariz. – He’s not the type of armed man on campus you’d expect parents to be concerned about — but apparently a police officer dropping off his daughter at school was just too scary for some parents in Mesa.
And the school principal actually called that officer to ask him not to wear his uniform on campus ever again.The issue was that other parents were concerned because he had a gun.

The officer, who works for the Coolidge Police Department, is a parent of a kid that goes to Entz Elementary School in Mesa.

The request made by school officials to not wear his uniform and gun on campus shocked and upset a lot of people.

All Scott Urkov did was drop his daughter off at Entz Elementary School. Little did he know that what he was wearing that day would lead to a call from the principal.

“There were some parents who were concerned about that fact that there was a fully armed officer on campus and they spoke to the principal about it,” said Helen Hollands, spokesperson for Mesa Unified School District.

She says the principal spoke with Officer Urkov and asked him not to wear his uniform and gun to school anymore.

Shortly after, the officer posted this comment on his Facebook page:

“Nothing like your kids school calling and asking if I could not come to pick up my daughter in uniform cause parents were concerned when their kids came home telling them there was a man at school with a gun. Are you freaking kidding me?”

“Well I was a little surprised,” said parent Blaine Spencer. “I think that it’s his right to wear that in public.”

Mesa Unified School District officials say they didn’t realize they had upset or offended the officer by asking him not to wear his uniform here on campus.

“We apologize that he took the discussion the wrong way perhaps, that was not the intent of the principal to offend him,” said Hollands.

And while some parents weren’t too keen about an officer with a gun on campus, others say their kids would feel a lot safer.

“Even if my kids saw that I think they’d feel more protected to see a man in uniform at their school,” said Spencer.

Officer Urkov told me he was advised by his department not to comment on this story, and to “just let it be.”

Meanwhile, while school officials’ initial reaction was to ask the officer not to wear his gun and uniform to school, they are now saying they want to turn this incident into “a teachable moment.”

They invited the officer to a special assembly to talk about what police officers do for the community.

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