Economic Development Incentives and Education & Workforce Development

Pence says he'll review school safety; no word on guns

December 19, 2012

Gov.-elect Mike Pence announced plans Wednesday to conduct a thorough review of safety at Indiana schools in response to last week's school shootings in Connecticut.

"As we formulate our budget, we will be pursuing resources for a comprehensive evaluation of school security measures," Pence said.

Pence ducked questions about whether he would consider limits on gun ownership in Indiana in the wake of the shooting, although he hinted they would not get far with him. He declined to say if he would support limiting the number of bullets in a clip or if he would support arming select teachers to defend against any attacks.

"Hoosiers have rights, and we will see to protecting those rights. And we have responsibilities, especially to kids," he said. "This not about access to guns. This is about access to schools."

Pence talked about the review Wednesday as he announced new members of his growing administration. He said former Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter will become superintendent of the Indiana State Police.

Current state police Superintendent Paul Whitesell withdrew his name from consideration in the Pence administration after telling a legislative panel last month he supported legalizing and taxing marijuana.

"We had a good conversation with Dr. Whitesell. Before I made a final decision, he did indicate he was withdrawing his name for consideration and we respect his decision in that regard," Pence said. He did not say what reason Whitesell cited for pulling out.

Police spokesman Capt. Dave Bursten said Whitesell chose to pursue private employment elsewhere.

Pence has asked many members of Gov. Mitch Daniels' Cabinet to stay on through his term, and many have agreed. Daniels' Natural Resources Secretary Rob Carter added his name to that list Wednesday, saying he would serve with Pence.

Pence also announced other key appointments. Indianapolis City-County Councilman Jeff Cardwell is leaving his post with the city for a job as executive director of the Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives.

Ryan Streeter, a Pence campaign adviser and former domestic policy aide to former President George W. Bush, will help write economic policy for Pence. And Kara Brooks is leaving a job with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works to become Pence's spokeswoman.

Zac Jackson will work with Office of Management and Budget Director Chris Atkins and Dax Norton will work in Lt. Gov.-elect Sue Ellspermann's office as the head of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

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