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Local law enforcement plan to step up presence in schools

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

ORISKANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Local law enforcement say they plan to have an extra presence in schools following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Coordinator for Oneida County School Resource Officers Coalition Edward Schmidt says resource officers will be ready to council and provide assurance to students that they are safe.

"Obviously we don't have a crystal ball we can't predict someone's behavior, someone's extremely irrational behavior," said Schmidt. "None of us can predict such a tragedy as just happened in Connecticut this morning."

Schmidt says while they can't predict for such crisis they can prepare and will continue to secure the county's schools with School Resource Officers (SROs) taking extra measures following the Connecticut tragedy.

"What we ask is obviously the SROs have a heightened sense of alertness they're sensitive to the reaction the students may have and the staff in the schools and of course parents," said Schmidt.

For schools that don't have an SRO, Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol says deputies will be making themselves present in conjunction with town and village law enforcement.

"Seeing that police car out front and seeing the deputy sheriff in the building that's so important so certainly we want to make sure that our presence is known," said Sheriff Maciol.

Both Schmidt and Sheriff Maciol stress that school safety is a team effort. They strongly recommend that every school makes sure they are using the single point of entry concept keeping all doors locked other than one which should be monitored and people only getting buzzed in after giving their identity and purpose.

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