Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office to increase presence at schools in wake of Texas shooting

Gunman Kills 19 Children In Texas School Rampage
Dario Lopez-Mills - staff, AP

Law enforcement, and other first responders, gather outside Robb Elementary School following a shooting, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.

MADISON, Wis. — The Dane County Sheriff’s Office will increase its presence at local schools this week after a gunman killed at least 19 children at a Texas elementary school.

The 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, killing the children as well as two adults. He was later killed by law enforcement.

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“There are no words to describe the devastating news of yesterday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement Wednesday. “Sadly, these events serve as a reminder for us all to be aware of our environment.”

According to DCSO spokesperson Elise Schaffer, the sheriff’s office opted to station deputies outside of area schools after multiple area schools and families asked them to. Schaffer said Cambridge, Mazomanie, Deerfield, and a couple of other communities will have a visible law enforcement presence to give students and families added peace of mind.

The sheriff’s office is also offering a free Emergency Preparedness Training course for community members.

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In a letter to its stakeholders Wednesday, the Dane County Chiefs of Police Association said law enforcement officers in the county “stand prepared to act as guardians in our communities and are taking necessary steps to ensure safety in our schools.”

“Community safety, especially as it relates to schools, cannot be achieved in a vacuum,” wrote James Olson, the group’s president and the chief of the DeForest Police Department. “Law enforcement continues to partner with the Office of School Safety in the Speak Up Speak Out program which allows anonymous tips to be made about potential threats in the educational setting. In addition, School Resource Officers continue to monitor the educational facilities in their communities and build relationships with students to increase safety and security.”

Tuesday’s attack was the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since a December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 children and six adults dead.