Suburban Philadelphia school district brings police in for random patrols

Starting this week, schools in Upper Merion are receiving some extra protection.

Upper Merion Township Chief of Police Tom Nolan says right after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, he and school officials decided to add police patrols starting January 2.

“We’ve always had extra patrols outside the schools, but we felt that putting officers on foot randomly inside the schools is another measure to try to keep our children safe,” said Nolan.

 He says the officers will work to make the students feel comfortable with the random patrols.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“In the past if we put a couple of extra officers outside a school because something had gone on, the students would wind up texting the parents saying I think something is going on the police are here, they would call the school district it would really raise the anxiety level of everybody,” said Nolan “and that’s not what we wanted to do.”

The chief says the new patrols are designed to integrate the officers into everyday school life. Because they’re part of daily rounds, he says it doesn’t add any cost to the schools or department.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal