An armed security guard that was hired by the City of Lathrop to patrol around school sites in Lathrop in the wake of the horrific school shooting in Texas was asked to leave Lathrop High School on Wednesday by school officials that said they were not notified prior to the arrival of the armed guard.
The decision to contract with the security agency came after an outpouring of questions on social media directed at City of Lathrop elected officials about what was going to be done to enhance school security in the city after 19 children and 2 teachers were slaughtered at an elementary school west of San Antonio – prompting Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal and the rest of the council to look at options.
According to a city official, the security guard was told by Lathrop Police Chief Ray Bechler to only drive around the campuses to maintain a presence and report to law enforcement if something were to occur.
A Manteca Unified School District official corroborated the claim that the guard was told specifically to park outside of schools and patrol around them and not physically go onto campus.
“We all play a role in the safety of our schools. We continue to work with our partner agencies including public safety officers of the newly formed Lathrop Police Department to ensure measures and precautions are in place for our students and staff,” Manteca Unified said in a statement about the issue. “We will look forward to future support from Lathrop Police as we currently receive through he Sheriff’s office via onsite School Resource Officers.
“Our hearts are with the educators, students, and families of Robb Elementary School as well as the Uvalde community. This week is a time to acknowledge our hardworking students and staff as we conclude this school year.”
News of the incident, which was initially broke by 209 Times, garnered an outpouring of comments from residents – many of whom lived outside of Lathrop – that were in support of the city’s effort to promote overall safety by having an armed guard present. Lathrop does have two sworn school resource officers through their contract with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.
Earlier this month the Lathrop City Council voted to approve adding two additional police officers onto the total that the city has been in the process of hiring – one of which will be an additional school resource officer to bring the number serving schools in Lathrop to three.
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