Roundup: Southern California authorities on high alert after Texas school mass shooting


LOS ANGELES, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in U.S. Southern California are on high alert in the wake of a Texas elementary school mass shooting that left 19 children and two adults dead on Tuesday.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said in a statement Wednesday morning that the department "is working closely with the Los Angeles School Police to increase patrols around our schools and common pathways to ensure the safety of our children."

"Yesterday the world suffered yet another tragedy in the loss of 19 innocent children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas at the hands of a mass shooter," he said, noting that "we are also working diligently to investigate crimes and behaviors that can lead to future violence."

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sent its prayers and condolences to the victims of the mass shooting.

Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a tweet Tuesday afternoon that the department's stations "will be closely monitoring and working with our station's school resources officers to ensure the safety of our children."

Police departments in some cities in Los Angeles County also issued statements, saying that they will take safe measures, for example, showing a "strong presence" or maintaining "a vigilant posture" around local schools.

Arcadia Police Department said in a Facebook post that "Although part of our normal patrol duties, APD Officers will be conducting extra patrols at our schools. We will have extra officers out as well."

Angela, a first-grader's mother, on Wednesday morning expressed her "shock and sadness" over the latest school mass shooting.

The mother of a student in Arcadia's Holly Avenue Elementary School told Xinhua, "I truly felt much more secured after I saw three police officers standing near the school gate this morning."

Police authorities in some other Southern California counties also vowed to protect the safety of their cities after the latest mass school shooting in the country.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes noted in a statement that there were no adequate words to describe Tuesday's elementary school shooting.

"While we believe this is an isolated incident, the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center is monitoring the situation, and we will have an increased presence at schools in our jurisdiction," he added.

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department noted in a statement that the agency has monitored the incident from the beginning and will continue to work with its patrol stations, school resource officers, school police departments, and education partners.

"At this time we don't have any information about specific threats to our campuses and our deputies will continue directed patrol of our schools and surrounding neighborhoods," said the department.

"We encourage our communities to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity or social media concerns. If you see something, say something," it added.

San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said that when he heard the news out of Texas, he contacted local law enforcement agencies to make sure they were all on the same page and had their eyes and ears open to possible local threats, NBC 7 San Diego TV station reported.

What's equally important, Nisleit was quoted as saying by the news outlet, is making sure civilians know their role in stopping tragic incidents like this one from happening in their community.

"Children are hurting. Guns are hurting them. Take the pain away! Take the pain away," tweeted Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second-largest school district.

"As a nation, we must continue to speak up against gun violence. We have a moral and professional collective obligation of ensuring a perimeter of inviolable safety around schools. Enough is enough," he noted.

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