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On first day of school after Friday’s shooting, Alachua County schools increase security

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Today is the first day back to school after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that took the lives of 27 people, 20 of which were children. WUFT’s Catherine Awasthi takes a look at how Alachua County is working together to keep kids safe at school.

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Several counties in Florida have increased security and police patrols at schools in the wake of the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., Friday.

Gainesville Police Department spokesman Ben Tobias said schools in Alachua County will see increased patrols in order to make the children, parents and teachers feel more at ease. These patrols will continue for as long they can, and the department is seeking grant funds from the federal government to increase the number of patrols, Tobias said.

Alachua County schools have plans in place for safety and security, said Jackie Johnson, public information officer for the schools. However, Johnson said, officials are reviewing those plans and the county is sending home a letter with each pupil today with tips on dealing with the aftermath of violence. Grief counselors are also on hand to assist with students’ processing of Friday’s events, Johnson said.

About Matt Sheehan

Matt can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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