Polk bolsters security as students return to school - FOX 13 News

Polk bolsters security as students return to school

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BARTOW (FOX 13) -

On a day when Hillsborough County ramped up security at elementary schools, officials in Polk County have decided they will also take similar measures.

Students in Polk head back to school Tuesday.

When they return, school resource officers, now assigned to middle and high schools will be stopping by elementary schools.

"We have asked patrol to come by when they are in between calls and maybe go to the parking lots to do reports, and maybe stretch, maybe walk through the campuses of elementary schools to maybe have a presence there as well," said Sgt. Rusty Longaberger with the Lakeland Police Department.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said it would send deputies on extra patrols by 65 elementary schools. They did not say how long the increased patrols would last.

Schools across the country have been increasing security after the shooting in Newtown, Conn.

More officers will be at schools when students arrive and leave in Hillsborough – not while classes are in session during the day.

Speaking with FOX 13 Tuesday morning, school board chair April Griffin said it was a combination of law enforcement and the board to bring officers into every school.

"It's a sense of security to the parents, to the students," she said. "I got a lot of calls from parents afterward, and their children were afraid to go to school. They were afraid to take their children to school."

Click on the video to see our entire interview with April Griffin.  

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