Alexandria police will have an increased presence in and around city schools this week in response to Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
The Alexandria Police Department announced the decision Sunday evening on its Facebook page.
“There is NO threat but this is being done as a reassurance to the community, teachers, parents and students that we are here to serve and protect,” the statement reads.
ACPS school counselors will be available Monday to talk to children who need additional support regarding the Newtown massacre.
Mayor Bill Euille held a moment of silence for the victims prior to Saturday’s City Council meeting. He said he placed calls to Connecticut Governor Dan Mallory and Newtown First Selectman E. Patricia Llodra offering sympathy and support. Euille called Mallory, a former mayor of Stamford, Conn., a close friend.
During the open hearing period of Saturday’s meeting, retired Rev. John Smucker III asked council to fully fund social services, especially mental health services, in response to the Newtown tragedy.
“Be conscious that there are human beings in Alexandria that need your help,” he said.
Smucker also asked councilmembers to ban guns in the city.
Euille said the nation is at a point where “we just can’t continue tolerating things like this happening.” To show his commitment to gun control, Euille mentioned he is an original signer of an initiative called Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The coalition is co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
“It’s time for the White House and Congress to come together in terms of addressing the issue of legislation and certainly appreciate the rights we all have to possess guns,” Euille said. “But the illegal guns initiative has nothing about taking the rights away of owning a gun. It has a lot to do with illegal guns but also getting automatic and semi-automatic guns off the streets.”
On Friday, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 27 people, including many young students and the school principal at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., before killing himself.