Extra Police Patrols at Tallahassee Elementary Schools

January 10, 2013 by Julie Montanaro

Police officers will now be making rounds at all Tallahassee elementary schools.

The city commission voted last night to okay extra patrols in the wake of that school shooting rampage in Connecticut.

Officer Rick Sapeira is now stopping by Ruediger Elementary School at least twice a day.

Tallahassee Police are trying to add another layer of protection and a visible deterrent to criminals and copy cats.

"They're going around the school making sure gates are locked, you know, and making sure they don't see anything unusual. I think it gives us a little bit of sense of security," said Ruediger assistant principal Shannon Davis.

Right now elementary schools in Leon County share resource officers, but don't have any at the school full time. School system leaders will lobby the legislature to change that, but in the interim, officers will be helping with perimeter checks and more.

"When our officers have some down time during their day, when they're not responding to calls for service, when they're not taking reports, they'll be able to come through the school system, maybe park in the parking lot, check in with the staff, let them know we're here," TPD Spokesman Dave Northway said. "The most important thing is getting our face out there."

The extra patrols were proposed within days of the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook and approved by the city commission this week.

Many of the elementary schools already have gates and security cameras. Now they'll also have a familiar face - and an extra set of eyes and ears - parked out front or patrolling nearby.

There is no funding set aside for the added city patrols.

Leaders with Leon County Schools will make a pitch for additional school sercuirty funding in front of a legislative committee next week.

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