CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After Tuesday’s mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, parents can expect to see more patrol cars and police officers on school grounds across the Capital Region. School Resource Officers (SROs) will be joined by police K9s and extra patrol units.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said SROs wear many hats. “The SRO program is much more than just providing an ‘armed officer,'” he said. “I encourage all schools to have an SRO.”

Aside from patrolling the hallways, Apple said SROs bond with students. They become familiar with their habits, personalities, and emotions. “You have someone that wants to bond with the students. You have somebody that may look at a student who is walking around with his head down, maybe depressed, maybe his or her parents are going through a divorce, and maybe he’s at that tipping point. [School Resource Officers] can help those kids,” he said.

“SROs connected them with mental health officials. We’ve connected them with school psychologists. I’ve seen the value of it.”

Albany Sheriff Craig Apple

Similar efforts go beyond county lines. Rensselaer County Sheriff Pat Russo added patrols this week, for example.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office is also boosting more law enforcement presence at the local schools. Greene County Sheriff Pete Kusminsky said that some of his deputies are working extra hours to make sure there’s always a patrol car nearby. “We’re basically getting the message out again—if you see something, say something. Let us know if there is a potential issue,” he said. “Maybe we can invert another tragedy.”

Local law enforcement officials plan to work with the school districts and will continue to do what they can to make parents, teachers, students, and the whole community feel safe. If you have any information that may be of concern at any time, you can always report it to law enforcement. If you see something, say something.