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School security

Police, security guards, a cop car — readin’, writin’ and ’rithmatic it ain’t.

School security measures proposed in the wake of the Newtown school shooting added about half a million to the school budget request Superintendent Deborah Low unveiled Monday night.

The school and town officials working on the School Security Task Force organized in the wake of the shooting did well to come up with some do-able recommendations that could be acted on quickly — a few, such as security guards at school doors, are already in place.

Others are being researched, such as card-swipe “access control systems” for employees and “visitor management systems (electronic background database scans of school visitors),” in the words of the statement released by school officials last week.

When the School Security Task Force was hastily organized, it had the look of that classic bureaucratic response: Form a committee!

Weeks later, a few measures are already on the ground, and some more difficult ones are being researched. The task force is doing more than creating the appearance of a response, which reflects well on Ridgefield’s town and school officials. And Ms. Low deserves credit for including the costs for the known additional security measures in her 2013-14 budget request.

Police, a police car, security guards, and a mental health professional added about half a million dollars to the $84-million education budget, and pushed the much-discussed “percentage increase” up to 3.24%. Without the security costs, the school increase proposed by Ms. Low could have been in the more comfortably discussed “two-plus” range.

A lot of those expenses could, arguably, go in the police budget, or somewhere else. But Ms. Low didn’t argue, she simply included the costs.

Still, it is hard to consider such things without a creeping sense that no amount of money spent, no number of school security measures researched by diligent members of a task force, will create the safe world in which parents long to raise their children.

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  • Wayne

    The South Carolina town of Simpsonville has added a police to their schools at no added costs to taxpayers with satellite police offices and an officer at no added cost to taxpayers. Other towns appear to engaging in this as well with no added cost to taxpayers and Ridgefield should look at this as well.

    Police in our schools – both my wife and I agree like so many yes they must be there daily. The question is to how do this intelligently so that we accomplish the goals of protection but also planning so that financially it is the cost effective and the operations are the most effective and practical. Safety and operationally we live in a new era now and ideas should be flowing steadily so here is a new one for us all to consider.
    This thought came to me several weeks ago to create satellite offices for Police in the schools where police can function as if they were in police headquarters and protect us our kids and faculty at the same time. Well sure enough other towns are embracing and functioning this way at what appears to be at a minimal added cost and some are saying no added costs to taxpayers. .
    Having satellite offices in schools around town should be a solution to consider whereby you create a safety net in all the schools, keep the cost of police protection at a reasonable rate of increase and enable officers to function daily. Let’s face it – simply having police in the schools and just monitoring who walks in and out may not be the smartest plan on its own. We have more than one firehouse don’t we and so too do other towns?
    Take a look at this story in Simpsonville South Carolina and other towns too. If Ridgefield has not considered this idea I think it should be and could be a practical cost effective method. Police should be able to function with their daily activity, but also keep our kids and faculty safe.
    If you care to see the story online please go to this web link to see a part of this story that was featured on the Today Show.
    www.today.com/video/today/51064492/#51064492

    Wayne Addessi
    387 Main Street

  • Wayne

    In SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. they added police to their schools at no added costs to taxpayers with satellite police offices and an officer at no added cost to taxpayers.
    Other towns appear to engaging in this as well with no added cost to taxpayers and Ridgefield should look at this as well.

    Police in our schools – both my wife and I agree like so many yes they must be there daily. The question is to how do this intelligently so that we accomplish the goals of protection but also planning so that financially it is the cost effective and the operations are the most effective and practical. Safety and operationally we live in a new era now and ideas should be flowing steadily so here is a new one for us all to consider.

    This thought came to me several weeks ago to create satellite offices for Police in the schools where police can function as if they were in police headquarters and protect us our kids and faculty at the same time. Well sure enough other towns are embracing and functioning this way at what appears to be at a minimal added cost and some are saying no added costs to taxpayers. .

    Having satellite offices in schools around town should be a solution to consider whereby you create a safety net in all the schools, keep the cost of police protection at a reasonable rate of increase and enable officers to function daily. Let’s face it – simply having police in the schools and just monitoring who walks in and out may not be the smartest plan on its own. We have more than one firehouse don’t we and so too do other towns?

    Take a look at this story in Simpsonville South Carolina and other towns too. If Ridgefield has not considered this idea I think it should be and could be a practical cost effective method. Police should be able to function with their daily activity, but also keep our kids and faculty safe.

    If you care to see the story online please go to this web link to see a part of this story that was featured on the Today Show.
    www.today.com/video/today/51064492/#51064492

    Wayne Addessi
    387 Main Street

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