In af­ter­math of Conn. shoot­ing, po­lice mak­ing vis­its to schools

The Advance of Bucks County - - POLICE REPORTS - By Elizabeth Fisher

Ad­vance Cor­re­spon­dent

BRfSTOL BOR­OUGH - Par­ents of kids in the Bris­tol Bor­ough School District can be as­sured that their chil­dren’s safety is a top pri­or­ity with the town’s po­lice de­part­ment, es­pe­cially in the af­ter­math of the hor­rific shoot­ing at a Con­necti­cut school last week that left 20 chil­dren and six adults dead.

Po­lice of­fi­cers have been mak­ing daily vis­its to St. Mark and Sny­der-Girotti ele­men­tary schools, and Bris­tol High School, and those vis­its will con­tinue for some time, said po­lice Sgt. Joe Moors. The pur­pose is two-fold: one, to get a lay of the land - to have po­lice of­fi­cers be­come fa­mil­iar with where each room in the schools are lo­cated; sec­ond, the of­fi­cers pres­ence as­sures the chil­dren that they are safe.

“We think it’s great,” said Ralph DiGuiseppe fff, pres­i­dent of the school board. “The po­lice have been very co­op­er­a­tive and very help­ful since we had our own lock­down.”

DiGuiseppe was re­fer­ring to an in­ci­dent in Oc­to­ber when bor­ough res­i­dent Daniel Gal­lagher threat­ened to “make the blood run” in bor­ough schools. Gal­lagher was ar­rested a short time af­ter the tele­phone threat but the killing in Con­necti­cut re­minded school par­ents that all threats must be taken se­ri­ously.

Since Oc­to­ber, more strin­gent safety mea­sures have been im­posed in Bris­tol schools, DiGuiseppe said.

Maria San­son, prin­ci­pal of St. Mark School, said on Fri­day that the po­lice vis­its are both wel­come and re­as­sur­ing.

“The po­lice came and asked to look around and said they would re­turn. They want to be fa­mil­iar with the build­ing and the chil­dren. We’ll also be meet­ing with them in the fu­ture to hear sug­ges­tions” on how to cre­ate the safest en­vi­ron­ment pos­si­ble, San­son said.

Moors said that the vis­its have re­sulted in a pos­i­tive in­ter­ac­tion be­tween cops and school of­fi­cials.

St. Mark par­ent Kathy Krieger said she was glad of the po­lice de­part­ment’s proac­tive stance.

“ft is com­fort­ing to kids, teach­ers and par­ents that our po­lice are proac­tive af­ter what hap­pened in Con­necti­cut, and af­ter our own schools were threat­ened be­fore that,” Krieger said.

Bor­ough po­lice Chief Arnold Porter said that, while the bor­ough has not re­ceived any threats, it is im­por­tant for of­fi­cials to take pre­cau­tions.

“Hopefully this will pre­vent any copy­cat in­ci­dents that some­times oc­cur af­ter a high-pro­file in­ci­dent like the tragedy in Con­necti­cut,” Porter said.

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