BOSQUE FARMS, N.M. (KRQE) - Some parents were surprised but very happy this week to see armed police officers at elementary schools in Valencia County.
And they're going to see them a lot.
It's not unusual to see armed police officers at high schools and even middle schools. But most elementary schools do not have assigned officers on campus.
The Los Lunas School district is changing that.
Bosque Farms Elementary has seen armed officers on campus before, but usually it's a quick stop and the officer is on his way.
"They were assigned to multiple elementary school sites bouncing around from site to site," Director of Safety and Security Desi Garcia said.
Parent Melanie Bennett rarely saw an officer on campus. Not anymore.
For the first time the elementary school has an assigned officer that spends hours a day on campus checking the parking lots, walking the hallways and even peeking into classrooms.
"The superintendent wanted to provide an extra sense of security at the school sites, and we didn't think there was a better of way of doing that than to provide a school resource officer assigned to elementary schools," Garcia said.
Garcia said the district wanted to do that for some time, and after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the push got even stronger. When money popped up, two more officers were added.
"(Students) always come running up and say, 'Hi, Officer Ferreyra. Hi, Officer Rob,'" Officer Robert Ferreyra told KRQE News 13.
Officer Ferreyra splits his time between Bosque Farms and Peralta elementary schools.
Students have noticed.
"When (my daughter) saw him here the other day she made a point to tell me that she felt safer," Bennett said. "She liked having an officer her that saw who came through the doors all the time."
The district said it's not certain the money will be there next school year to keep the officers, but it's certainly something they would like to continue.
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