pwc cruiser

News and Messenger:   (Amanda Stewart)

When students arrived at many area schools Monday and Tuesday, they may have noticed extra police officers at school.

Prince William County police officials planned to have extra officers at area schools throughout the week in response to Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“An increased presence of police will be in and around the county schools this week,” Prince William County police said in a statement posted on the department’s Facebook page. “Please do not be alarmed. The pain of last Friday’s events has reached across our nation. We simply want to reassure our children that they are safe in school and our community.”

In a letter to parents Monday, Prince William County Public Schools Superintendent Steven L. Walts said he spent time planning with Acting Prince William County Chief of Police Barray Barnard over the weekend and said police would increase patrols in and around schools and bus stops this week “to provide reassurance to our school community.”

Dr. Walts and Acting Chief Barry Barnard should both be commended for stepping up a police presence to reassure our school community.  Dumfries also did their own similar thing.    One of the fears I heard parents mention was that of the copy cat crime.  Who knows what that malevolent crime could have touched off in some other crazy.  Just having a police present both reassures the community and sends a strong message to anyone eyeing our schools for nefarious deeds.  Not on our watch.

Rumor has it that officers and detectives visited all the schools and spoke to the administration, letting them know that they were out there.   There is an officer for almost every school, according to my school sources.  The  extra police presence will be out there until schools close for winter break.

Thanks again, PWC Police Department.


30 thoughts on “PWC Police step up to the plate, reassure community

  1. Now I have to ask my daughter’s school, because if something was was not advertised.

    1. I was told that some of the officers called on the principals and reassured them that they were out there. Isn’t that neat?

  2. Pat.Herve

    The fear is that there could be a copy cat, and Newtown could spring them into action. I like that I live in a County that has the resources and budget to reassure everyone, especially our kids – that they are safe here. I was told that many teachers and students were apprehensive about returning.

    1. I like it also Pat. If we have a flat tax system, will we be able to have that kind of flexibility? I doubt it. From what I have heard the Prince William County Police Department has just been wonderful. Their reassurances and visibility deserve a standing ovation. Its scary to have to wonder, “will I be next?” whether you are a student, secretary, principal, bus driver, teacher or cafeteria worker. No one wants to do death by crazy.

  3. Need to Know

    Barry Barnard is a good guy and fine police officer. I opposed adamantly the hire from within decision related to the County Executive and hope that the controversy surrounding that blunder doesn’t hurt Acting Chief Barnard’s chances of promotion.

  4. If you see a police officer today, thank them for all they have done to reassure the community this week. I expect many of them have put their regular work on hold to be out there for our school community…ie: Our kids.

  5. Steve Peterson

    I thought that they were already doing this… no? Or are they just ‘stepping up’ what they were already doing? Either way, good job.

    I went to OP and Hylton and remember seeing police there quite often.

  6. Steve Peterson

    Just curious Moon… I just picked my son up from preschool, did PWC PD mention anything about that? Are they going to stop by them or JUST ‘schools’? Do you know, and if not, do you know where I can find out?

  7. Steve Peterson

    I’ve seen PWCPD in the lot while picking my son up from school but I’m not sure if they were there for a break, doing paperwork or what… It’s in Lakeridge, would rather not give any more info than that. I’m just curious, preschools seem like a soft target after this announcement and would like to know more.

  8. Marinm

    I think we can all agree that we as parents want more guns in our schools. The question becomes how do we implement.

  9. Lyssa


    Count me out of that statement.

  10. @Lyssa
    So, you don’t want a policeman patrolling the schools?

    My county police are increasing their presence at schools too.

  11. Lyssa


    Don’t be ridiculous. Police officers do not think of themselves as “guns”.

  12. @Lyssa
    No….they CARRY guns… thus there will be a gun in the school. So, Marin was right. He didn’t say who was carrying it. More cops equals more guns.

  13. marinm

    Ding ding ding. Cargo wins the prize.

    Now, in my perfect world any adult that can legally carry could be able to do so in a K-12 school.

    Right now I can ONLY do so LEGALLY in the drop-off circle of a school. That doesn’t help anyone on the inside if the SHTF.

    1. I am not so sure about that drop off circle either. Is it on school property?

  14. Lyssa


    They DO? You’re armed when you take your children to school??!!

  15. marinm


    I think you meant to reply to me.

    Please see Virginia Code 18.2-308.1 Section C VII

    The provisions of this section shall not apply to…a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit and possesses a concealed handgun while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school.

    I can already carry a firearm on school property consistent with State law. However, lets say my child gets out of my car and trips or is hit by a bus – I would be a felon if I left my car to render assistance.

    1. When was that section enacted? Is it new or has it been there all along?

  16. Starryflights

    I would just as soon not have armed strangers hanging around my kids’ school. Nobody knows whether you are a concerned parent or the next mass murderer. Better a uniformed cop.

    1. Starry, I think this is at the core of the discussion that 2A people simply do not understand. What starry just said is the core of where we are coming from.

  17. marinm


    How do you know if its concealed?

    When we met – did you notice I was armed? I assume everyone I meet is armed and treat everyone accordingly.

    1. I don’t believe you have ever met Starry. I have not met him.

      I don’t assume everyone I meet is armed and it would not matter how I treat them. Armed or unarmed would have no bearing on how I treated them.

      I would not allow them to come in my house with my children if they were armed. I have made very close friends check their weapons at the door.

  18. @Moon-howler
    But we’ve also stated that having regular security is also fine.

    But…armed strangers? We’re talking about teachers. And armed strangers are already near your school. As long as they don’t leave the car, they can carry concealed.

    Nope. I don’t. I’m not as methodical in carrying as Marin. Basically, I haven’t developed the habit. I also am usually going elsewhere that forbids carry by a student after I drop her off. Before that, I was working in a court house environment.

    I have done so, once or twice, though.

    1. @Cargo

      Armed strangers would be people armed in a school environment who aren’t hired to be armed and aren’t part of the school’s staff.

      It isn’t reassuring to most of us, to see someone walking around with a weapon. If I see that, I think nut case with a gun. So do most people. In my world, people don’t walk around armed to the teeth.

  19. @Starryflights
    Now I see where “armed strangers” came from….missed it on first read.

  20. @Moon-howler
    Yeah, I caught that on a second read, starting higher in the thread.

  21. marinm

    Sorry, I confused Starry with Censored for whatever reason.

    But, the point is still valid. Because you all know ‘of’ me you know there is a really really good chance that I have a minimum of one firearm on me. Sometimes its easy to tell because I have no issue with open carry. Sometimes I choose to conceal.

    I’m schrodinger’s marinm. You don’t know if I’m armed if you don’t see it but I may be armed because I may carry concealed. The only way to find out is to aggress me. 🙂

    1. That just sounds like a dare.

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