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