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State Police to have presence at schools

Posted on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Virginia State Police stationed in Caroline County will exhibit a presence at the county’s public schools, school officials announced last week.

The troopers will be visible in schools, parking lots, and other areas throughout the day, school officials said in an announcement put on the school division website.

“We are appreciative of their willingness and efforts along with those of the sheriff’s department to assist in helping provide a safe learning environment for our students and staff.”

Troopers will not be assigned to be at or stationed at schools, but they will have a presence at them as the demands of their duties and schedule allow, explained Sgt. William Blydenburgh, who supervises troopers who work out of the department’s Bowling Green office.

Following the shooting massacre of schoolchildren in Connecticut in December, local Virginia State Police offices have contacted public schools and sheriff’s offices to see if their presence would benefit, Blydenburgh said last week.

He discussed the prospect with Superintendent Greg Killough and Sheriff Tony Lippa earlier, he said.

“Everybody thought it would be a great idea,” he said.

Troopers might stop at a school, do a walk-through, be present in a parking lot, or otherwise maintain a presence as their duties allow yet without being disruptive, said Blydenburgh. They also do speed checks and conduct other traffic law enforcement activities.

The goal is to “provide a feeling of school safety…and prevent acts of violence,” said Blydenburgh.

State Police are engaged in the initiative with public schools statewide, indicated Blydenburgh.

He expected to get approval from supervisors and notify troopers under his command last week, he said.