■ Lo­cal law en­force­ment of­fi­cers step up pa­trols of schools,

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Dave Doolittle ddoolit­tle@states­man.com Con­tact Dave Doolittle at 445-3671.

Cen­tral Texas law en­force­ment of­fi­cials have in­creased pa­trols at school zones this week, partly in re­sponse to a mass shoot­ing at a Con­necti­cut school Fri­day in which a man killed 26 peo­ple, in­clud­ing 20 stu­dents.

The Austin Po­lice De­part­ment and the Travis County Sher­iff’s Of­fice have joined the Austin school district po­lice de­part­ment in ad­di­tional pa­trols at school zones in the morn­ings and af­ter­noons un­til Fri­day, Austin po­lice Chief Art Acevedo said.

Lo­cal of­fi­cials car­ried out a sim­i­lar ef­fort at the be­gin­ning of the school year, he said. Acevedo said he also wanted to make of­fi­cers vis­i­ble near school cam­puses to al­lay par­ents’ fears af­ter last week’s shoot­ings.

“This way we get to ad­dress two is­sues with one ini­tia­tive,” Acevedo said. “We take the safety of our ci­ti­zens very se­ri­ously.”

Austin po­lice will pa­trol at pub­lic ele­men­tary and pri­vate schools, school district of­fi­cers will pa­trol high and mid­dle schools, and deputies will pa­trol schools in un­in­cor­po­rated, Acevedo said.

The of­fi­cers will not work over­time, he said.

Acevedo has said a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of Austin of­fi­cers have re­ceived spe­cial train­ing in how to han­dle a gun­man who tar­gets large ar­eas and of­ten doesn’t make de­mands but sim­ply starts shoot­ing.

“I’m con­fi­dent we have the ca­pa­bil­i­ties to re­spond in a very quick, rapid and over­whelm­ing way to stop any in­stance in our city,” Acevedo said.

Round Rock schools also have taken “many steps to pre­pare for a va­ri­ety of emer­gency sit­u­a­tions to en­sure that stu­dents and staff are safe and se­cure,” of­fi­cials said in a state­ment. “District of­fi­cials are reg­u­larly in con­tact with law en­force­ment of­fi­cials and have co­or­di­nated with lo­cal emer­gency re­spon­ders in de­vel­op­ing emer­gency pro­ce­dures.”

San Mar­cos schools of­fi­cials also are as­sur­ing par­ents the safety of chil­dren is a pri­or­ity.

“Our teach­ers and staff con­tinue to train and re­train on emer­gency pro­ce­dures,” Su­per­in­ten­dent Mark E. Eads said in a state­ment. “With the as­sis­tance of our law en­force­ment of­fi­cers we are closely re­view­ing the safety and se­cu­rity mea­sures in place at all San Mar­cos CISD schools.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.