Law Enforcement Now at Elementary Schools After Sandy Hook Tragedy
ALACHUA COUNTY -Thursday was the first day back for students at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
It was also a day of firsts for elementary schools in North Central Florida, because police officers and deputies are being placed in most elementary schools.
A task force in Alachua County is working to determine how they will move forward in keeping children safe, in light of the tragedy that shook the nation.
The new law enforcement presence was a welcome one. One parent we spoke to at Talbot Elementary says that the tragedy at Sandy Hook was a "very shocking event and you relate to it when you are a parent."
Tony Jones, the Gainesville Police Department chief says the law enforcement presence is "the first step of a multi-phase approach of what we're going to do in Alachua County and Gainesville to make not only our schools a little more safe but our community as well."
Its the first step in a task force that is meeting to address how to increase mental health services for schools and how to prevent anything like Newtown from happening here.
For safety reasons, GPD is not putting a time stamp on the length of time they are keeping the officers in the elementary level.
Its temporary - but necessary to parent Jennifer Kovakoff at Talbot Elementary who says "The parents I have talked to have expressed this is something that makes them feel reassured like I do."
Alachua County Schools already have a school resource officer in all middle schools and high schools, and they used to have officers in elementary schools but money was a problem.