More and more, schools across the area are stepping up security since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last month.
Police officer Brett Williams headed back to school Tuesday at South Newton Elementary. The school district is providing police with office space at all the elementary schools there. Throughout the day, any officer in the city can stop by and use the office to complete reports and other paperwork.
Fourth-grade teacher Christy Buff loves the idea.
“It gives us a sense of safety that may have been taken away from us a little bit. So we're able to feel a little bit more safe and free to do our jobs with the students,” Buff said.
The officers can also walk the hallways and visit the lunchroom, which Eyewitness News saw firsthand Tuesday.
The chief said the partnership between the school district and police provides another layer of security at the school but doesn't require any additional funding. It also allows police to interact with the students.
“We'll have the opportunity to get out of the car and get some face-to-face time with some of the students,” said Brett Williams with Newton Police. “I believe it is important to get a positive experience with students, because sometimes law enforcement officers can seem scary for young kids.”
Parents Eyewitness News spoke with strongly support the idea. While there won’t be armed guards at the entrance to the schools, the officers are armed while they are there.
For many families, what happened at Sandy Hook should never be forgotten, and any idea to keep children safe is a good one.
“(It’s) just a comfort zone to know somebody is around and you don't have to think about your kids all day at work,” Doug Anderson said.