THROOP -- Over the last week, you may have noticed a Pennsylvania State Police presence at schools in the area. It's all part of a statewide effort to bulk up security at schools due to recent mass shootings.
This effort started last week and there's no timetable on when state police will stop doing this. Troopers tell Newswatch 16 they're simply checking in on schools to let students and faculty know that they have their backs, and officials in the Mid Valley School District are appreciative of the awareness.
"Kids are scared, and they're going to school with concerns," said Trooper Mark Keyes. "This is something we want them to know that we're behind them and want to be publicly visible for them, to ease their concerns a little bit and hopefully minimize the risk of anything happening at any of our schools in the area."
State police will be driving around the parking lots and will occasionally go into the schools at random schools and random times.
"We're looking for anything that appears out of the norm. We're taking a look at the security of the building, of the ground. We're making sure that people who don't belong here, that they're not here. We're making sure there's no suspicious activities, anything that doesn't look normal, make contact and try to figure out what's going on," Trooper Daniel Kimes explained.
The state police made it clear that everybody should not be concerned if they see a police presence on school property. They're doing all of this to ensure that the school and students are safe.
The Mid Valley School District sees great benefits with this effort.
"Sending the message to the community and to the staff and students that people care," said Mid Valley Superintendent Patrick Sheehan. "People are worried. People want to see everybody safe like we do, all the students here. They're here to support us."
State police and officials with the Mid Valley School District added that the feedback from parents has been positive. It's all a part of forming a strong bond.