Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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Police step up security at Stafford schools

You may notice more sheriff’s office cruisers and uniformed deputies at Stafford County schools this morning. The Stafford Sheriff’s Office increased security as a precaution today, the first day back to school after Friday’s sad news of a mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. Here’s what the Sheriff’s Office had to say:

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office reports an enhanced Sheriff’s Office presence at all Stafford County Public Schools effective  Monday,  Dec. 17.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office will be stepping up security efforts at all Stafford County Public Schools. It is important to note that the extra presence at the schools is precautionary only and the not the result of any threats or intended acts of violence made against the schools.

Sheriff Charles Jett said:

“The safety and security of the staff and students at the schools has always been a top priority of the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. In light of the tragedy in Connecticut on Friday our enhanced presence at the schools, through out the day, is intended to reassure students, faculty and parents of our commitment to ensuring a safe school day for all parties involved.”

The Sheriff’s Office is fortunate to have an excellent partnership with the schools. This partnership has allowed for the ongoing training and continuous preparation for critical incidents at the schools. A complete review of our school emergency response plans were reviewed over the past summer and every Stafford deputy underwent training, on sight, at the schools. This year the Sheriff’s Office issued radios to each school that allows them to talk directly to the Stafford County Emergency Communication Center, as well as the responding deputies.

Every School Principal was trained by the Director of the ECC in the use of the radios and emergency protocol. The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office extends its prayers and condolences to the individuals and families involved in the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, Dec. 14.

The AP reports that these increased security efforts are going on around the country. And teachers are making preparations a little harder to define; they’re gearing up to answer some tough questions that students will have, after hearing, reading or watching the news about the shootings all weekend.