Nassau, Suffolk police step up patrols following Texas mass shooting
Nassau and Suffolk police say they increased patrols Wednesday in response to the Texas school shooting, but also reminded Long Islanders that there was no known threat.
In a statement, Suffolk police said "This tragic act of violence against children and school staff inside what should be a safe haven is unfathomable and a parent's worst nightmare. While there are currently no credible threats in Suffolk County, the department is monitoring the ongoing investigation and will be increasing patrols around school buildings out of an abundance of caution."
Nassau County issued a similar statement that said there were no credible threats, and it is continuing to work with local and federal partners as it continues its assessment.
The superintendent at the South Huntington Union Free School District says the safety of students and staff is always a top priority, but the mass shooting puts a renewed focus on the issue.
Dr. Vito D'Elia says students take part in lockdown drills several times a year, which was part of the security that came following the Sandy Hook school shooting.
"This is our number one priority, safety, before learning is to keep them safe," D'Elia says. "Because if the children aren't safe, it's hard to learn."
The Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District has a full command center monitored by a security guard and lockdown buttons that alerts police, locks doors and informs the students and staff about the nature of the emergency.
The school also uses the RAVE app, which is a direction connection between schools and the 911 operator and the Go Guardian app, which is a filtering system that allows them to monitor activity on their network.
Police say there are many school safety programs and is in contact with every district to provide safety recommendations and monitor social media for potential school threats and more.