Emphasizing School Safety

September 2, 2013 Updated Sep 2, 2013 at 10:46 AM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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September 2, 2013 Updated Sep 2, 2013 at 10:46 AM EDT

Town of Tonawanda, NY (WKBW) - For many students, Labor Day is one of the last days of summer break.

Thousands of students across Western New York are heading back to school this week. Teachers and administrators have been hard at work setting-up for students. Athletes have already been back at practice.

In many places, there is also heightened security.

Patrick Heyden, the Principal at Kenmore East High School, says, "While we might think on any given day that our school is safe and secure and know our students, denial is the enemy.

Heyden talks glowingly about his students, saying he has never seen a group of teens more willing to help others. However, he and other KenTon schools are still taking every precaution.

Ramped up police presence in the KenTon School District, as well as other schools in the Town of Tonawanda, began the spring after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December.

"Every single one of them is a tragedy, and we just try to prevent things like that from happening again," says Officer Scott Zenosky, the School Resource Officer at Kenmore East High School.

Town of Tonawanda Police frequently visit every public, private and parochial school in their district -- going through them on a daily basis. The sweeps began after the Chief of Town of Tonawanda Police attended a seminar.

"The tactical expert giving the seminar said schools are a target for organized terrorism," says Lt. Nick Bado with Town of Tonawanda Police Department. "There's been a lot of information gathered on this topic, as well as not necessarily organized terror groups, but individuals that want to do some harm."

Officers walk through every school on a daily basis, making sure everything is in order and familiarizing themselves with schools, just in case the worst happens.

This year there will be more full-time police on-hand at KenTon high schools.

The school board just approved funding of two full-time school resource officers to be at the high schools.