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Deputies to patrol Stafford schools


When Stafford County students return to class Wednesday, there will be more Sheriff’s deputies patrolling school grounds.

After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Stafford County Sheriff Charles Jett assigned a deputy to each of the county’s schools.

Before 26 died in the mass shooting last month, each high school in Stafford had its own deputy. And the county’s eight middle schools shared two resource officers. Additionally, there are two deputies who lead the DARE program at the elementary schools.

Starting Jan. 2, a deputy will check in on schools that don’t have an officer, said Bill Kennedy, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

After the Connecticut shootings “there is a heightened sense of concern on the parents’ part—that’s not just Stafford-wide, that’s nationwide,” Kennedy said.

The increased presence won’t cost the taxpayers, he said. Patrol officers already work near the schools; now, they will simply stop by the schools each day.

The deputies will regularly meet with school staff and talk with students, he said.

“While I wish I could place a full-time deputy in all of the schools, I do feel that these additional measures will provide extra security to protect our children and the adults that work with them every day,” Sheriff Charles Jett said in a press release.

Amy Flowers Umble: 540/735-1973