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St. Louis County Police Chief Orders More Officers in Elementary Schools

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – As details of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut unfold, many will ask themselves what is being done to prevent it from happening here?

On guard for possible copycat shootings, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch has ordered the county’s 31 school resource officers, and regular patrol officers, to spend more time at elementary schools.

Fitch told KMOX those officers are funded by the school districts.

“There’s always more you can do. However, you’ve never going to be able to prevent every situation from occurring,” Fitch said.

A local school security expert says a mass shooting can happen. Frederick Crawford, Chief of Security at Parkway, is part of a police-school partnership involving area districts they meet regularly to discuss how to maintain safe schools.

He says when the talk comes to metal detectors, he feels they’re not full proof.

“Metal detectors are very valuable in many aspects,” Crawford said. “But we’ve also seen metal detectors fail in the sense that a student will bring a gun and hand it through a window.”

Fitch says he feels the same way; “they help, but that if a deranged person wants to do harm, metal detectors don’t always stop them.”

Crawford says many districts locally also have police officers on site, school resource officers at the high school and middle school level, to meet visitors at the door and respond to any possible problem. Local police have also trained to respond to mass shooting events with active shooters.

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