It was the first day back to school for many students and teachers since Friday’s deadly shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. For many Omaha schools that meant an increased presence of law enforcement. It helped ease the minds of parents and staff.
As Andrea Brewer picked up her 6-year-old daughter at Ponca Elementary Monday afternoon, the increased presence was reassuring.
“I’m glad they are here. It makes me feel protected,” said Brewer.
“We're here if needed but hopefully we're not needed,” said Deputy Wade Grimm.
He says their goal isn’t to scare people.
“We've seen some citizens drive up and down, lots of waves, that kind of thing. I think they probably understand,” said Grimm.
Brewer said it provided a teaching moment for her daughter.
“When we showed up this morning my daughter was like ‘oh there's a cop here' and she goes 'they've never been here before' and I said 'they are just making sure you are protected.' and she said ‘oh’,” Brewer said.
“We're here, school safety is one of our priorities,” said Grimm. “We’re here when they need us.”
And that provided a sense of security for faculty, staff, students and parents. Ponca Elementary was the only school assigned a Douglas County car because of the school’s location. Other deputies were assigned to multiple schools in a close area. They’ll continue their increased presence for a few more days.