COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — One day after a gunman killed 21 people at a Texas elementary school, some central Ohio police departments increased patrols around their community’s schools.
In Whitehall, Sgt. Jon Earl said police have not received reports of any threats at the city’s schools. The extra patrols were meant to show that the police were there to help, he said, while also putting both students and parents at ease after Tuesday’s tragedy.
“I know when I drop my kids off at school after an incident like that, you worry,” Earl said. “When you see things like that, you’re always going to worry as a parent. The big thing is when you pull in and you see the police sitting in the parking lot, you know the police are there. You know your children are safe, and that’s the biggest message we want to get across to everybody.”
According to Earl, the increased patrols will continue until the end of the week when Whitehall City Schools is dismissed for the summer.
The Genoa Township Police Department also allocated extra patrols at schools. Genoa schools had zero threats, police said, and the extra patrols aimed to reassure students, teachers, and parents of their safety.
“We just want to make sure that the parents can feel safe and be assured that we’re here watching over their little ones on their last day of school,” Lt. Rich Lyon said. “The kids should be able to enjoy that last day of graduating from 5th grade and moving on to 6th grade or getting ready to become a senior. We want them to feel safe when they’re here for not only the students but also for the staff and for the parents.”
While Wednesday marked the last day of classes for Westerville City Schools, Lyon said the extra patrols will continue at other schools in the community that are open on Thursday.