CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – The gun control debate is still going strong both in Washington and in Colorado, and some local police and sheriff’s departments aren’t waiting for politicians to sort out the school security angle. They are already checking in on schools a daily basis with informal patrols.
Officers are a new and welcome presence at all of the elementary schools in Douglas County. Law officers are now doing their paperwork in their squad cars in the parking lots of the district’s 46 elementary schools.
Officers also have an open invitation to eat in the school cafeterias.
“It’s just really nice and the kids love it,” said Robin Voora, a parent at Timber Trail Elementary School. “They are like super heroes.”
On Wednesday Lt. Dan McMillan was in the parking lot at Timber Trail working off the school’s wi-fi system.
“While we’re here we stop in, visit with school officials and sometimes have lunch with the children,” McMillan said. “We’re letting the children know as well as the parents that we are looking out for them.”
Superintendent Liz Fagen says the idea came about after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. She says the goal is to increase the police presence at schools in the district without adding additional costs.
“Asking our officers to be in our parking lots does not incur any additional costs. They would have to do those reports somewhere and having them here with us is a great match,” Fagen said.
Voora told CBS4 that after the Connecticut tragedy, the increased police visibility is much appreciated.
“Obviously, it hit very close to home. And to know the community is looking out for us and there’s a police presence absolutely feels really good,” she said.