Sarasota, Manatee County Schools to increase police presence following Texas school shooting

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For the last days of school, Sarasota and Manatee County Schools students may notice more police officers than usual.

In an email sent to employees and students' families Tuesday night, the Sarasota County School District announced it will "provide an enhanced (police) presence on our school campuses."

Manatee County Schools will also have an increased police presence, Michael Barber, the district's communication director, wrote in an email. The district is also banning backpacks from secondary schools for the last days of school, he said.

The announcement comes as 21 people — 19 of them children — were killed in a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday afternoon.

The Sarasota County School District said an increased law enforcement officers presence will be on campuses over the final days of school this week.
The Sarasota County School District said an increased law enforcement officers presence will be on campuses over the final days of school this week.

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The district will pull from the Sarasota County Schools Police Department in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies to provide the increased officer presence, according to the email. Manatee County Schools will pull from its county's law enforcement.

"As we all attempt to process today’s events, please be assured that the safety and well-being of our school communities and worksites is top priority for Sarasota County Schools," the Sarasota County email read. "Our district’s Safety & Security team and the Sarasota County Schools Police Department will remain steadfast in our efforts to keep our children and employees protected every day. "

In the Sarasota County email, the district emphasized its school's counselors, asking parents to reach out to school administrators if they feel their child needs to speak to someone.

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sarasota, Manatee schools increase police after Texas school shooting