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Gwinnett schools see increased police presence

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Gwinnett County schools saw an increased police presence as they returned to classes on Monday. Gwinnett County schools saw an increased police presence as they returned to classes on Monday.

School security is tighter around the country in light of the Connecticut shootings, and metro Atlanta area campuses are no exception.  Gwinnett County Schools is among the districts that are expanding their police presence.  

When students arrived at Peachtree Ridge High School on Monday, they may have noticed an increased presence of both school police on campus and officers from the Gwinnett County Police Department.   In response to concerns expressed by both parents and staff, they've been added on campuses both inside and out.  

"They're here at our schools providing an additional presence at our schools, and we really believe that's going to serve as a relief and a reassurance to those in our schools and our school communities here as we end the semester," said Gwinnett County Schools spokesperson Sloan Roach.

School officials say the additional security is not in response to any particular threat.  

"They're here at our schools providing an additional presence at our schools and we think that's going to serve as a relief and a reassurance to those in our schools and our school communities here as we end the semester," said Roach.

Officials stress that this effort is just a precaution and not in response to a specific threat.

"We have had a plan in place for a while to essentially supplement the school resource officers in an event like this.  We're fortunate to not really have enacted this in the past, but essentially we're just here for some additional security," said Cpl. Jake Smith of the Gwinnett County Police Department.

With tensions high, school officials are asking parents and visitors to do their part if they come to a school this week.  Roach says they should enter by the school's front door, sign in, and make sure they're wearing their visitor's badge in a place that is very visible.  

"These are some of the common sense, everyday procedures that we have in place, but they become even more important now," Roach said.

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