LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said he plans to step up patrols of elementary and middle schools in the nation’s second-largest school district by assigning officers to visit them at least once a day.
Beck said the Los Angeles School Police Department is stretched thin patrolling high schools across the city, so he wants to assign all LAPD officers to visit an elementary or middle school. He told graduates of the police department’s cadet program Sunday that he wants to begin the visits when students return from winter break.
“I just don’t want anybody to think that they can go into a school in Los Angeles and be immune to the police, because you won’t,” Beck told KCAL-TV.
“We won’t be there all the time, but nobody will ever know when we will be there,” he said of the visits.
The new program is part of an effort to ensure students’ safety after a gunman forced his way into an elementary school in Connecticut and massacred 26 staffers and children. After Friday’s shooting rampage, the Los Angeles Unified School District requested extra patrols at schools.
More than 640,000 students are enrolled at over 1,000 schools in the school district.