HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Making Pennsylvania schools safer has been a goal of lawmakers, law enforcement, and school officials throughout the year. It’s why earlier this year the school safety task force was formed. Now, one of their recommendations is being put into action. Eyewitness News Harrisburg Reporter Matt Heckel explains.
The task force recommended schools increase the presence of school resource officers and police officers. And this school year State Police will be doing just that.
“First and foremost, our goal is to increase security in and around these schools.” Said Cpl. Adam Reed, Pennsylvania State Police.
This week State Police announced they would have an increased presence in schools and colleges across Pennsylvania. In the 2018-19 school year, Troopers will be required to conduct safety checks on schools located in their jurisdiction at least once per shift.
“That could be as simple as waiting in the patrol car in the parking lot as the buses load or unload, or even walking inside the school, visiting with administration and students.”
Troopers will visit at different times of the day or night. Cpl. Adam Reed says along with making sure schools are safe.. These visits will also help foster a relationship between the police and students.
“Those positive relationships go a long way in building that community trust to reduce crime and improve that relationship with law enforcement.” Said Cpl, Reed
Since troopers will be visiting schools in their jurisdiction… Cpl. Reed says this won’t have a major impact on their day to day operations. But they hope the reduction in crime and strengthening of community relationships from these visits will have a major impact in the future.
“Those two things both go a long way in making Pennsylvania schools safer.” Added Cpl. Reed.