Days after the tragic shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 students and two teachers, campuses continued to open their doors across the Southland, with some under a closer watch from law enforcement hoping to offer some assurance of safety to students, parents and staff.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said his department would be working with “school resource officers to ensure the safety of our children.” The Palmdale School District and the Lancaster Union High School District are patrolled regularly by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said there were “no adequate words” to describe Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tex., about 85 miles west of San Antonio. Barnes added, “While we believe this is an isolated incident, the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center is monitoring the situation, and we will have an increased presence at schools in our jurisdiction (this week)”
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said the department “is working closely with Los Angeles School Police to increase patrols around our schools and common pathways to ensure the safety of our children. We are also working diligently to investigate crimes and behaviors that can lead to future violence.”
The Santa Monica Police Department issued a statement saying, “Even though we have no information of any credible threats occurring in our schools, personnel within our department will show a strong presence around our local schools.”
In Torrance, police Chief Jay Hart said the department “is committed to protecting the safety of Torrance students and continues to work with (Torrance Unified School District) to create an environment where students and teachers can thrive.”
In Long Beach, police issued a statement also saying there are no known threats of violence locally, but “we are maintaining a vigilant posture and increasing our patrol presence throughout the city, including at our Schools.”
Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, tweeted: “Don’t be afraid! Today is a day of showing our true colors to each other.”
He again lamented the shooting, saying, “This devastating, repeating tragedy that keeps robbing us, as a nation, or our future, through the murderous bullets of derangement is the result of a heartless and cowardly failure of political leadership and courage. Silence and inaction are tantamount to complicity.”
Tuesday’s shooting sparked an outpouring of emotion from local officials, many of them making emotional calls for gun control.
In addition to those killed, roughly 15 other children and two adults were injured in the shooting, according to various reports. The gunman was killed by police.