POCATELLO, Idaho -

Schools in one eastern Idaho district are being equipped with gun lockers so school resource officers can keep rifles, ammunition and evidence close at hand.

Pocatello Police Chief Scott Marchand told the Idaho State Journal that the idea was adopted more than a year ago, and the gun lockers have already been purchased -- it's not a reaction to last month's deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

All of the school resource officers in the district are already armed with semi-automatic handguns, but Marchand said schools have hallways that are 50 to 100 yards long.

In the event that a shooter came to the school, he says a trained officer could do more with a rifle than one limited to a sidearm.