TPD up presence after shooting - Tucson News Now

TPD up presence after shooting

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Even though today's tragedy took place on the other side of the country, Tucson police made sure people still feel safe from such threats here at home. They'll be showing up at local schools as often as possible at the direction of the police chief.

On the day of such tragedy in the news, Brittany Smith says her son Jordan and daughter Layla know something happened, but the first grade and kindergarten students have not had it fully explained to them.

She's not sure how much they would grasp.

"I don't think they fully understand, they're still kinda little.  So, I don't think they fully understand but we definitely like to have the talk, of course, don't go near strangers, and if you think you see anybody strange walking around you don't think should be there, even if they're not sure, just to tell somebody. That way, everybody who is there is supposed to be there," said Brittany Smith, mother in Amphi School District at Keeling Elementary School.

Right now, of these three, it hits home with her the most.

"I just can't see why anybody would do that, you know?  It is scary, especially with having kids in that particular grade age, where that particular accident happened.  It's scary, even if it's not in this area," she said.

"The one thing I do want to reiterate is that there hasn't been any kind of threat here in Tucson indicating any of our schools are in danger; however, for piece of mind and we wanted to enhance that presence for the community to ensure that safety is of utmost importance and the first thing on our minds," said Sgt. Maria Hawke.

Tucson Police Sergeant Maria Hawke explains how TPD officers will be at all schools in the city as often as they can.

Whenever an officer has a moment, they go to a school and they'll be there especially at the busy times when school begins and ends.

"I mean, I feel really safe at this school.  I feel like they do a lot of good.  They have the gate people, they have to be buzzed in through the office, so it's not just an open campus, I guess is the word I'm looking for.  So, I feel really good about that.  So I feel like they're kinda safe here," Smith said.

We don't know how long this will continue. It's likely at least through Monday or Tuesday or up until winter break.

Tucson Unified School District has school security officers and said that it has procedures in place for school threats.

District representatives did not want to give specifics to avoid compromising that security.  But they said that tragedies like the one in Connecticut could, when all the facts are gathered, lead to policy changes if they seem necessary.

"Well at this moment I think it's too early to draw any conclusions, but one thing is as a district we will continue to keep the people and the students and everyone that was impacted from Connecticut in our hearts and from there we will learn, once more information is provided," said TUSD governing board president Miguel Cuevas.

Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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