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Police need to prepare for worst-case scenario

After three decades of law enforcement experience, I am compelled to write and address the issue of safety in our schools.

The public expects law enforcement to intervene in acts of violence in our schools. It is imperative that every law enforcement professional, school security officer and elected official who provides funds for school security issues be aware of the 2004 school massacre in Beslan, Russia. Terrorists deliberately slaughtered hundreds during this siege, which occurred in the North Caucasus region.

We all watched the horror of the Boston Marathon bombings, and the subsequent search for the second terrorist as he eluded police. I felt a great sense of relief when the suspect was located, for he was from the Caucasus region. I quietly feared he would go to a school to complete his macabre mission, because that is what terrorists have done in that part of the world. I fear it is only a matter of time before we are faced with a similar calamity.

Every day millions of parents hug their precious children and send them off to school, trusting us to keep them safe. Police response to a school attack is a daunting task. Our emergency responders must be aware and remain vigilant, and continue to prepare and train for any response required to fulfill that trust.

Mark R. Rokitka Sr.

West Seneca