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Massachusetts schools step up patrols after Texas shooting

BOSTON (WHDH) – Several Massachusetts school districts are ramping up their police presence in the wake of a deadly Texas school shooting Tuesday.

Those districts include Abington, Barnstable, Gloucester, Norfolk, Revere and Tewksbury, whose leaders all announced that they will increase police presence in schools Wednesday.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our children,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. “We will move with urgency to make sure our communities are safe.”

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said the district sent notices with resources home to families and each school is set to review all safety protocols.

“We do, do intruder drills and so, we’ve asked our principals to review those with their staffs and make sure we are adequately prepared,” she said.

A shooter detection system that immediately notifies police if a gunshot is fired has already been installed in Attleboro schools. Police say this technology could shave up to 15 minutes off their response time.

“We used to rely on 911 calls, panic alarms, third party monitoring. There’s human delay,” said Attleboro Police Chief Kyle Heagney.

It’s part of an effort by the city’s mayor to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to school shootings.

“The entrances of the new high school have a shatterproof glass that the police department – the police chief – personally witnessed. Either they shot at it, hit it with sledgehammers – they could not get through itm: Mayor Paul Heroux said. “

In Chelmsford, more cameras have been set up inside and outside the buildings in an effort to step up security in recent years.

“We’ve added a number of cameras in our elementary, middle and high schools so that from our central office and even our police station, we can access the closed-circuit security cameras in the building and watch incidents in the school,” Chelmsford Superintendent Jay Lang explained.

These are visible changes, but School Violence Expert Dr. Scott Poland — who has responded to 17 school shooting scenes including Parkland and Columbine — says there’s still more to do.

“We need a lot of programs in our curriculum to help young people manage anger and develop a focus on just being able to balance all the stressors in our lives,” he said.

All schools clarified that there are no specific threats, but said that the aim is to help children feel safer at school.

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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