New Castle police officers will begin making regular entries into the Chappaqua Central School District's schools, Superintendent Lyn McKay wrote in a Friday letter to the community.
The entries, which will start on Monday, will be "on a routine, daily basis," McKay wrote. The previous procedure, she added, involved having police present on school grounds daily but not regularly entering the buildings.
McKay also explained what the roles of the officers will be.
"While inside the schools, police officers will further develop positive working relationships with students, teachers, and administrators," she wrote. "They will become even more familiar with the layout and routines of our buildings. Please know that while these officers are in our schools, they will defer to building administrators, unless there is a true emergency."
McKay also encouraged parents to tell their children that they may see officers.
"Reassure them that everything is OK and that our schools are as safe as ever," she added.
The measure is the latest security change in Chappaqua since the mass elementary school shooting in nearby Newtown, CT last month. The district's decision comes as the Bedford Central School District next door seeks to add security for the perimeters of its buildings, in the form of a request from its overlapping towns to provide police.
In addition to the police visits, McKay has shared other changes will the public at Thursday's school board meeting, including a planned installation of panic buttons in buildings and uniform entrance locking procedures for the schools. A security consultant also conducted an audit of the buildings.
“Overall he was very impressed by our plans," Assistant Superintendent for Business John Chow said about the consultant's feedback.
School officials also praised New Castle police for their cooperation. Board President Victoria Tipp said they have been “very forthcoming with their services and advice.”