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Gun control, school security in focus after Connecticut shooting

In the aftermath of the rampage Friday at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, California police stepped up patrols at schools and lawmakers talked about tougher gun laws.

According to PolitiCal, state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) called the incident the most shocking in a series of shootings this year, including a rampage in July in which a gunman killed 12 people in a Colorado movie theater.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the children and families of Newtown," Yee said in a statement. "While we do not have all the details behind this senseless and unconscionable massacre, it is a sad and horrific reminder of what is possible when guns get into the wrong hands. We must limit access to weapons that can result in such catastrophe and mass murder."

Cmdr. Matt Blake, who is overseeing the LAPD's response, said department officials are coordinating with their counterparts at the Los Angeles Unified School District's police force to increase police presence at the district's hundreds of campuses, as well as at private schools throughout the city.

Officers in each of the LAPD's 23 stations have been instructed to touch base with schools in their patrol areas, Blake said.

PHOTOS: Shooting at Connecticut elementary school

The increased visibility is meant to calm parents' fears after the Connecticut shooting, Blake said, adding there is no indication that someone might attempt a copy-cat attack.

"Our job is not only to stop crimes but to try to put nerves at rest," he said.

Officers are also contacting school officials to review their plans for how to keep students and faculty safe in the event of a shooting, Blake said. In addition, supervisors at each LAPD station and specialized units have been instructed to review response plans for active-shooter scenarios, he said.

-- Joel Rubin, Chris Megerian and Richard Winton

 
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