“I frown on turning our schools into fortresses,” Schools Superintendent Winifred Hamilton said, adding that some have said with the assault rifle the shooter was found with, he could have gotten by police.
She also said that by adding police officers in the schools will scare children and make them think that there is something to worry about instead of trying to assure them that they are safe.
Police Chief Jon Fontneau said that he currently does not have the resources to staff each school.
Hamilton said she is looking into expanding the amount of security guards, so there would be people in the schools trained to handle emergencies. She did say it would increase the budget by about $500,000 to put a security guard in every school, “but safety doesn’t have a price.”
Schools have had staff members monitoring doorways to see everyone coming in and out of the buildings, Hamilton said. “There is certainly a renewed vigilance,” she said.
Patrol officers will also be stopping at every school throughout the day just to check in and make sure everything is alright, Fontneau said. The officers will have to get out of their patrol car and go into the building, he said.
“The police are always a few minutes away,” the chief said, adding that the patrol division is looking at ways to remain closer to the schools throughout the day.
The captains of the patrol division will be meeting with John Perrotta, director of Safety & Security for the schools, and each principal to go over emergency plans, and upgrade and fine tune them, Fontneau said.
“We feel we are ahead of the curve,” he said of the current safety precautions the schools take.