Richmond, Columbia schools watchful, but not changing security

Although both Richmond and Columbia County school systems are on higher alert this week, neither is adding or changing security as a result of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.

Richmond County school’s public safety usually beefs up security this time of year because kids tend to get restless closer to breaks, said Chief Patrick Clayton.

“It’s normal for us to increase security this time of year,” he said.

But as a result of Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in Newtown, Conn., public safety will re-evaluate its protocols to make sure it’s prepared for the best response, Clayton said.

In Columbia County, ad­min­istrators sent out a note to principals on Friday to make sure policy is being followed, said Deputy Superintendent Sandra Carraway. All Co­lum­bia County teachers are told to keep their classroom doors locked while school is in session.

In Richmond and Colum­bia counties, there are officers posted at all the high schools and most middle schools. In Richmond County, each of those officers is also responsible for a handful of elementary schools, which they patrol randomly, Clayton said.

Other schools around Georgia are also re-evaluating security, and some are adding patrols. In Gwinnett County, for example, police are planning to provide extra presence around schools to prevent copy cat incidents.

“Officers will be assigned to every school within Gwinnett County police jurisdiction and these patrols will last for the next several days,” said Cpl. Edwin Ritter.

Associated Press reports were used in this article.

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