School district to explore permanent security changes - FOX 13 News

School district to explore permanent security changes

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Hillsborough County school officials say they don't anticipate any problems Monday as students return to classrooms, ensuring parents that extra security and patrols have been called upon in the aftermath of one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

School officials say both uniformed and non-uniformed deputies will be patrolling schools in unincorporated Hillsborough all this week.

That will suffice for now, superintendent MaryEllen Elia said, but she said the school district will be "proactive" in exploring permanent measures to increase security at elementary schools.

"Hillsborough has been very proactive in reviewing security at school, and we'll be moving forward to have that done again and to be thinking of what we can do, given the scenarios that we have, what we can do," Elias aid.  

This week police will also be out with officers on foot and in the air patrolling schools. In fact, we're told officers from traffic squads, marine patrol, K9 and the other units are being assigned to different schools.

This will happen at elementary, middle and high schools. Officials say this isn't a response to any threat; it's all out of precaution.

"We don't think there are any concerns. We haven't received any threats," said Steve Hegarty with Hillsborough County Schools. "It's really on everyone's mind what happened up in Connecticut so when you go to school you will see flags at half-staff, probably increased presence of law enforcement."

Elia's automated phone message was intended to let parents know about the extra security and additional plans for this week.

Grief counselors will also be available to students and teachers who want to talk. They'll be available throughout the week, the school district said.

Officials in Hernando County tell us they too are ramping up security at school this week.

LINK: Continuing coverage of the Conn. shootings

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