Unannounced police visits in Mt. Lebanon schools

Published Jan 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm (Updated Jan 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm)

Mt. Lebanon police officers are now randomly walking through schools in the Mt. Lebanon district in response to the December shooting in Newtown, Conn., and not in response to any local incident or threat.

“We’ve always had a close relationship with the district when discussing safety and security and, obviously, the incident in Connecticut brought it to the forefront,” said police Lt. Aaron Lauth. “That encouraged us to sit down and see if there was more we could do, or more programs we could formalize.”

Before the recent formalization, police officers on duty would walk through the school on a random basis. Now, the visits will continue to be random, but on a more routine basis.

Cissy Bowman, school district spokeswoman, said the Connecticut school shooting prompted the district to “go back and review our emergency management plan.”

She echoed Lauth in saying the new procedure is not in response to any incident in the district.

Visits by police will not be announced and will occur when officers are on patrol and find available time.

“We will continue talks with the district to see if there is anything additional we can add,” Lauth said.

All of the district’s buildings, elementary, middle and high school, will include officers walking through the hallways.

Bowman said students are accustomed to seeing officers in the school from the random visits and during other safety programs.

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