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Police at elementary schools
High profile presence aimed at enhancing safety
Manteca Police have had school resource officers on high school campuses for years. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Manteca’s elementary students may feel a little safer today.

That’s because Manteca Police are now sending two reserve officers to visit each of the 13 Manteca Unified School District elementary schools that feed into Manteca, Sierra, and East Union high schools. They intend to do that every day that school is in session.

The effort was launched Tuesday in response to safety concerns following the fatal shooting of 26 students and teachers at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Conn.

Police Chief Nick Obligacion said the reception the officers received “was phenomenal.”

Obligacion discussed the new incentive briefly during Tuesday’s Manteca City Council meeting.

The program has been launched with some funding made available to the department. There are no city funds employed. Obligacion is in contact with various service clubs that have expressed interest in partnering with the police department in a bid to enhance community safety. Obligacion is hopeful some of the clubs will help the endeavor.

Others that may be interested in helping with the funding can contact Obligacion at 456-8100.

The police make every effort to stay as visible as possible as marked patrol units are parked in front of the school when an officer visits.

The program is a take-off on the department’s highly successful school resource officer program that has had a full-time police officer for a number of years at each of the Manteca, East Union, and Sierra high school campuses. Officers have been credited with helping reduce crime in and around campuses as well as building strong working relationship with teens.

The high school officers in the past have gone to feeder schools when needed.