By RYAN GORMAN
School police in the gritty Los Angeles suburb of Compton have been armed with AR-15 assault rifles.
Students heading to their first day of classes Monday were greeted with armed-to-the-teeth security guards after the city passed a resolution over the summer break authorizing police to guard the schools like Guantanamo Bay, KPCC first reported.
Authorities and school officials claim the move was in response to a recent FBI study showing that five percent of mass-shooters wear body armor. The majority of handguns cannot pierce bulletproof vests.
"This is our objective - save lives, bottom line," Compton Unified Police Chief William Wu told the school board in footage uncovered by AOL of the July hearing that approved the action.
Many mass shooters, including James Holmes and Adam Lanza, carried assault-style rifles and wore body armor, according to reports.
Assault rifles are more deadly because they offer a higher rate of fire with less recoil and more accuracy.
"Handguns you'd be lucky to hit accurately at 25 yards," Wu said. "With a rifle in the hands of a trained person, you can go 50, 100 yards accurately."
Locals from the community made famous by the NWA hit "Straight Outta Compton" were outraged after learning school police are now armed for a battle.
"This escalation of weapons, we feel, is very unnecessary," Francisco Orozco, a recent Dominguez High School graduate and founder of the Compton Democratic Club, told KPCC.
"The school police has not even earned the right to carry handguns" and should be more focused on day-to-day issues including a lawsuit filed last year accusing school police of racial profiling and excessive force.
"These aren't jails, they're institutions of education,' Orozco griped to the Los Angeles Register.
A local official disagreed, and said such action is becoming more common across the country. He also claimed to be unaware of discord between the town and school police.
"If there's an issue with Compton and how Unified School Police are engaging with the community, that should not affect their availability to tools that can save kids," Joe Grubbs, president of the California Association of School Resource Officers told KPCC.
Grubbs was also quick to point out the model of AR-15 being used by school police is semi-automatic and can fire only one bullet per trigger pull.
An AOL investigation found only one other school district in the nation that has armed officers/security guards with assault rifles – in Fontana, California.
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