The police chief in Cherokee says there’s a lot of work to do before local school employees would be allowed to carry concealed weapons on school grounds — and Police Chief Nate James suggests there’s no guarantee any employee will get the go-ahead.

“We’re not looking at this lightly, by all means,” he says. “It’s something that we need to figure out if this is the right thing to implement into our schools, by letting staff carry.”

The Cherokee School Board endorsed the concept this week and school officials said they’d been consulting with the police chief.

“I have children in the school,” James said. “There are a lot of factors that I would personally like to know before we move forward.”

The police chief says policy and procedures will be paramount.

“It would require a lot of training — a lot of training,” he says. “This is going to be a long, long process…a collaboration of a lot of different departments. I know the school has reached out to an organization already, but there is a lot more that will go into it than that.”

James was a policeman in Cherokee for eight years before being named Chief of Police in April of 2015.

(Nikki Thunder, KICD, Spencer)