Update: Fair Lawn will extend its police school detail -- stationing a highly visible officer at all schools, manpower-permitting -- through Friday.
Police officers and patrol vehicles have been stationed at both Fair Lawn and Saddle Brook schools this week to allay the fears of both parents and students still shaken from Friday's school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
The Fair Lawn Police Department has arranged to have an officer at each of the district's 10 public schools during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times through Wednesday, manpower-permitting, Sgt. Richard Schultz said.
Saddle Brook police chief Bob Kugler said his department had increased its uniformed and marked police vehicle presence around all of the district's schools, especially at the beginning and end of the school day.
"We realize and are sensitive that the horrible tragedy in Newtown, Conn. gives all of us heightened concern for the safety of our children," he said. "Our police presence, care and concern will hopefully ease some of the uncomfortable feelings parents and other guardians may have."
Kugler said Saddle Brook police would maintain their presence in and around schools going forward, and that Deputy Chief Bob White, who serves on the Saddle Brook Board of Education, would act in a dual role to keep school security front of mind.
While Fair Lawn may extend its officers' school details for the remainder of this week -- up until winter break -- Schultz said parents should not expect it to become a permanent practice.
Posting an officer at every school is neither feasible due to current force levels nor guaranteed to prevent a motivated shooter from entering the building and opening fire, Schultz said.
He suggested that parents and educators use last week's school shooting as an opportunity to reevaluate and raise awareness of school safety procedures.