Police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter said late Friday that the department will have a greater presence "in and around schools within Gwinnett County" for the next several days. The effort will be a collaborative effort between GCPD and Gwinnett schools police.
"Officers will be assigned to every school within Gwinnett County police jurisdiction and these patrols will last for the next several days," Ritter said.
A gunman opened fire inside an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., Friday, killing at least 26 people -- including his mother and 18 children. As of Friday afternoon, it was believed to be the second deadliest school shooting in American history, behind only the Virginia Tech massacre of 2007.
Gwinnett authorities expressed no specific reason for concern, but said schools will be patrolled more closely.
"The department is conducting this proactive measure to help prevent any type of 'copy cat' or similar incident from occurring within Gwinnett County," Ritter said.
Wednesday will be the final day of classes for Gwinnett County Public Schools before winter break. Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks released a statement Friday.
"Tragic events in other communities place the public spotlight on school safety, here and around the country," the statement said, in part. "Our school district has been working on school safety as routine business for years, knowing that a safe environment is essential to student learning."
"Our plans are to continue to take the important steps that have kept our schools safe in the past, as well as continuing our work to enhance programs to ensure safe schools in the future."