In the new year, students at Havre de Grace schools may notice new faces on campus.
By mid January, Havre de Grace will have two additional school resource officers (SROs) on staff, said PFC Jeff Gilpin, spokesman for the Havre de Grace Police Department.
In 2012, the police department had two SROs. One handled Havre de Grace High School and an elementary school, said Gilpin, while the second SRO worked with Havre de Grace Middle School and the other elementary school.
"They are usually in place at their respective schools during the students' arrival and dismissal, conduct foot patrols throughout each school during the day and respond to their assigned schools for any incidents that may need our services," Gilpin said.
He added that SROs help with school activities and sporting events at the request of administrators.
"It is a system that has worked well over the three-years-plus that we have had two SROs," Gilpin said.
The two SROs starting in January will be reassigned from their patrols in the city of Havre de Grace, Gilpin said. No decisions had been made about filling those positions, he told Patch on Jan. 1.
Gilpin said that he was not aware who made the decision to add the SROs this month and why but told Patch that more information should be available later this week.
School security has been a nationwide topic in the wake of last month's elementary school shooting in Newtown, CT. Following the Dec. 14 shooting in which 26 people were killed, the Harford County Sheriff's Office said that school resource officers in Harford County "went into a heightened state of awareness."
It is not clear whether the two new assignments for Havre de Grace officers are in response to the incident in Connecticut.
Said Gilpin: "I am not sure of, nor do I intend to speculate on the exact reason(s) behind this decision, who made it, or what personnel additions, if any, will be made."
He did say that he knew one thing about the SRO position for sure: "Ultimately, it's there for the children's protection."