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Newtown tragedy prompts Stafford to increase school security

Wednesday - 1/2/2013, 6:07am  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Stafford County students returning to school Wednesday will see more sheriff's deputies in the hallways.

Stafford County decided to beef up its police presence indefinitely after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

"Currently, we have deputies in all the high schools and some of the middle schools. We have never had deputies in elementary schools other than through DARE Education," says Stafford County Sheriff Charles E. Jett.

"This is going to provide and enhance presence in all our schools."

Jett says deputies, who are armed, will stop at the schools as part of their routine patrols and make rounds, checking inside and outside the buildings.

He says he does not expect this change in deployment to create any coverage trouble for his force.

The Sheriff's Office will start a new neighborhood watch-type program that will operate near the county's 31 schools, Jett says. The programs will train residents to keep their eyes and ears open for anything unusual.

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)