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Notice to UASD Parents: PA State Police Initative

Hello UASD School Community Members,

Please take a moment to read the article below written by Pamela Lehman of The Morning Call regarding the PA State Police (PSP) conducting safety checks at our schools on a daily basis.  This article provides a nice overview of this PSP Initiative.  Thank you for your attention to this message.

 

Pennsylvania State Police and Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that troopers will be conducting safety checks of every school in their coverage area at least once per shift in an effort to support safer learning environments.

The school safety checks may involve a patrol around the property, or the trooper could go inside to chat with students, teachers and staff, state police officials say. The checks have always been part of troopers’ duties, typically called “domestic security checks,” but are now official after they came up repeatedly at statewide meetings for the School Safety Task Force, said state police spokesman Ryan Tarkowski.

Those safety checks began at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year and were officially announced in a news release Tuesday.

“We announced it because we don’t want parents to be nervous or upset wondering why there was a state trooper at their child’s school,” Tarkowski. “We think it will offer a presence of mind for parents and staff to know about these safety checks.”

The state’s School Safety Task Force report was drafted after several meetings across the state with school officials and staff, parents, students and law enforcement. That report notes that while most parents and staff wanted law enforcement officer in schools, “some students noted that they are apprehensive of law enforcement.”

Students would be more likely to report information about safety concerns if they were able to improve their relationship with officers, the report states. This plan will allow troopers the chance to go into the schools and talk to students and staff when time allows, Tarkowski said.

Troopers will check in on all educational facilities located within state police jurisdiction at least once per shift in the morning, afternoon and evening shifts, authorities say. It will include checks, patrols and visits at the schools that have other primary law enforcement coverage other than state police.

Officials said students and staff would feel safer with a visible presence of law enforcement at area schools, authorities said.

The safety checks will continue throughout the school year.

Pamela Lehman

The Morning Call