STAMFORD, Conn. — Two city representatives want to see police officers in Stamford schools after the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
“It may never happen again and only God knows, but we never want it to happen in Stamford ever,” Rep. Joseph Coppola Jr. (R-15) said during Thursday’s Public Safety Committee Meeting of the Board of Representatives.
Coppola added that he thinks police officers in the buildings would be the best security and questioned the level of training and equipment the security guards, added throughout the district as a response to the shooting, have.
Salvatore Gabriele (R-16) also wants to see officers in the schools, giving an example that a person could have a weapon concealed and sign in with security to visit their child and then begin shooting. He said that an officer could either take care of the situation or at least minimize the damage until backup arrives.
Gabriele also suggested officers working out of the schools or sub-stations throughout the city rather than at police headquarters with laptops or other technology so they would be closer to the buildings if there is an emergency.
“Schools need to be warm and welcoming,” Assistant Chief of Police James Matheny said, adding that the task force assigned to audit the schools did not want to turn the buildings into fortresses.
The task force presented some of its findings to the Board of Finance earlier this month and mainly suggested security measures that would delay the amount of time it would take for an assailant to get into each building, including two unarmed security guards at each building, mesh screening on windows, improved security cameras and strengthening doors.
Superintendent Winifred Hamilton also said that she has started a committee, including school janitors, administrators, teachers, Geoff Alswanger, president of the school board and John Perrotta, director of security and safety for the schools, to examine all of the task force’s recommendations.
“We are picking away and pecking away as things come up,” Hamilton said.