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LPD volunteers beefed up security last week at village schools

— Three days after a deadly school shooting in suburban Connecticut, officers from the Liverpool Police Department volunteered to patrol two village schools during the five days preceding Christmas break.

On Monday, Dec. 17, after the Friday, Dec. 14 tragedy in Newtown, Conn., Liverpool Mayor Gary White contacted Liverpool Central School District Superintendent Nick Johns, who welcomed the mayor’s offer to have officers assigned to Liverpool Elementary and Liverpool Middle schools last week.

Liverpool Police Chief Don Morris and the department’s Police Benevolent Association president, Officer Sean Pierce, immediately responded by contacting off-duty officers who volunteered for the non-paid extra duty.

“Several of our members are working shifts of various lengths at those two schools,” Pierce said.

Morris said members of the Liverpool PBA often donate their time and services to various community projects. “But you don’t always hear about it,” he said.

The officers who worked at the two schools last week took care to avoid increasing the anxiety level of students who were already upset about what happened in Connecticut, Morris said.

During the day on Monday Dr. Johns met with the school district’s administrative team to discuss district security protocols. “And we brainstormed any additional security measures we might wish to take,” he said.

White, a former deputy chief of the Syracuse Police Department, initially discussed the matter over the weekend with LCSD Board of Education President Patricia DeBona-Rosier and her husband, village Trustee Jim Rosier, who is the village board’s liaison with its police department.

After more than two dozen children and teachers were shot to death Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, White and the Rosiers expressed concerns about security at Liverpool Elementary School at 910 Second St., and the adjacent Liverpool Middle School, 720 Seventh St.

Both of those schools are partially within the village limits, White said, and most of their students are village residents.

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