The Cody School District could soon have a company in place to train qualified teacher applicants to conceal carry on school property.
On Tuesday during their monthly board meeting, the trustees unanimously approved the proposal from Distributed Security Inc. for 40 hours of locally based training contingent on law enforcement approval and a confidentiality agreement prepared by district counsel.
Wapiti resident Bill Tallen, one of the few people to attend the board meeting, is a principal member of the company. Tallen was a fixture in the audience at the lengthy CKA Policy meetings to develop a concealed carry policy. He was a member of a committee by the state board of education that provided guidance on the state statute that allowed the policy.
While Distributed Security is based in Illinois, training would be done locally.
An amendment to the motion, approved by all but trustees Scott Weber and William Struemke, also approved FASTER Colorado as an alternate selection on the approval of local law enforcement as well.
Distributed Security’s proposal would cost the district $2,295 per attendee or $22,950 for 10. FASTER Colorado came in slightly less per attendee, however if less than 10 teachers took the class the company recommends sending them to either Colorado or Ohio for training, which would add transportation, lodging and food to the district’s cost.
Multiple trustees said it was hard to compare pricing as they don’t know yet how many applicants they’ll have.
A total of six companies submitted proposals.
Superintendent Ray Schulte said Distributed Security and FASTER stood out.
“I went through the proposals based on criteria such as training school personnel, curriculum, experience training teachers and access to facilities,” Schulte said. “I think there are probably two vendors that most fit the needs of the district.”
The one caveat with Distributed Security is a minimum of six students.
But chair Kelly Simone said the offer of 16 additional hours of training by Distributed Security – FASTER offered 24 hours, the minimum required for initial training – was enough to favor them. If less than six teachers reached the training stage of the application process, they can ask if the company would still be willing to be the trainer.
“I would err on the side of more training,” Simone said. “If you can get 40 hours of training, the number of hours is material.”
Trustee Stefanie Bell had proposed going with FASTER if less than six applied. The company has a big setup in Ohio for training teachers which Bell said she preferred. However, it was FASTER Colorado that sent in the proposal and it was questioned as to whether teachers would be able to train in Ohio.
Tallen is the executive vice-president for tactical operations at Distributed Securities. Prior to his joining the company he served 20 years as a federal agent, team leader, unit commander, training instructor and manager for the Department of Energy.
Weber said he preferred the company because training would be done locally and they have access to local ranges, including the sheriff’s office range, that could be closed off to protect anonymity, as well as a house where attendees could do situational training.
The Distributed Security website lays out the goal of its trainers in regards to preparing personnel in schools for a situation.
“DSI will teach you how to defend innocent lives,” the site reads. “You will learn how to safely and discreetly carry a concealed handgun, how to shoot well when shooting is justified, and how to employ the individual and team tactics necessary to effectively confront and defeat a violent threat in your school before the authorities arrive.”