LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Officers patrolling around city schools are being given more firepower.

The Los Angeles Unified School District board voted 5-2 Monday to buy shotguns after district police said they are in increasing danger because their patrols often take them into gang- and crime-ridden neighborhoods around campuses.

The district will buy 75 Remington 12-gauge shotguns, which will be available in about two months. The shotguns will be locked in patrol cars while officers, who will continue to carry pistols, make their foot patrols.

The vote followed a contentious hearing during which some board members argued they feared accidental shootings while others said the plan would protect students.

``If it would help one student or one parent, it's worth 100 shotguns,'' board member Barbara Boudreaux said.

``If anybody is harmed or killed, this Board of Education will be liable,'' said Board President Julie Korenstein, who voted against the plan.

Dallas is the only other large urban school district in the country where police are armed with shotguns, she said.