Many local schools have added security this week after rumors of threats.
One local police officer is donating his time to give peace of mind to many parents and school officials.
Sgt. Scott Wagner of Baltimore, Ohio, said that volunteering his time as an officer is his way of giving back this holiday season.
Parents and school officials said that they were happy to see his vehicle around their children’s schools.
“I was tense, worried about coming back and thinking, ‘How are we going to make people feel comfortable?’ And to see that police car cruising around really made a huge difference,” principal Linda Rainey said.
Wagner has been patrolling the grounds of the Liberty Union-Thurston Local Schools since before sunrise Monday morning.
“And when I would drive in, I would waive to him just in my appreciation for what he was doing,” said parent Michelle Graham.
Wagner said that he was sickened by the loss of life in the Newtown, Conn., shooting.
“I think that was the most horrific thing about the Connecticut shooting was just the young age of the innocence of those kids,” Wagner said.
Wagner said that he wanted to donate his ability to provide protection.
“I don’t want any more aftermaths,” Wagner said. “I want the shooter stopped outside before they can get in and get near those kids.”
His mission, Wagner said, was to give children back what they lost and to allow them to think about Santa instead of a shooter.
Many said that they were unaware of Wagner’s gift of time.
“At that time, though, we had no idea that it was a volunteer,” Rainey said. “So, to find out it was a volunteer, I mean, it brings tears to our eyes.”
Wagner said that while school resource officers are good resources inside of a school, many districts lack the security that an officer patrolling the grounds outside can provide.
He said that he hopes other officers around the country will consider donating their time to the effort.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for more information.