Police increase presence at area schools following Newtown massacre
In light of the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Hampton Roads schools will have an increased police presence. Here’s a breakdown of each city:
Newport News: According to Newport News school spokesperson Michelle Price, there will be extra police officers at all schools for the entire week. There will also be School Resource Officers at all schools; typically they are only at the middle and high schools. Price says there have not been any threats; the extra police presence is only a precaution.
Norfolk: Norfolk public schools will have officers posted at elementary schools today – officers are always present and middle and high schools. A letter from the superintendent sent to parents is available on their school’s website.
Chesapeake: Chesapeake police will have an increased presence at all schools today, according to a school spokesman. All schools have been notified to be on alert and have all security procedures in place.
Hampton: Hampton police confirm there will be increased patrols at schools and the roads near them this week. There are resource officers at the middle and high schools and they are also periodically doing checks on the elementary schools throughout the day.
Portsmouth: Portsmouth schools will have an increased security presence. The Sheriff’s office has pulled all available resources today to assign them to patrol schools.
Suffolk: Suffolk schools have also asked police to increase their presence at schools this week.
Virginia Beach: An alert was sent out to some parents in Virginia Beach saying that there will be increased security at all elementary schools. Sheriff’s deputies will be providing the extra security. School spokesperson Jennifer McCarrel says it is just a precautionary measure. The following is the AlertNow message that was sent to parents Sunday.
“This is an important message from Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Please be advised that beginning Monday you will see an increased presence of uniformed public safety personnel at our elementary schools. This is not the result of any threat against our schools. It is a precautionary measure only, prompted by the recent school tragedy in Connecticut. If your children ask questions about the presence of a police officer or sheriff’s deputy at your school, please reassure them that people care about their safety. Please know that our school principals consider student and staff safety their highest priority. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s principal. As always, we thank you for your support.”