By Mayor Mark Boughton
The tragic events of December 14, 2012 left an indelible mark on all of us who live in Western Connecticut. Who can forget the feeling of loss and sorrow for the parents, teachers and administrators of those lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School?
In the days and weeks after the tragedy, the superintendent of schools, the chief of police and I developed a series of steps aimed at improving safety in our school buildings. Specifically, we stepped up the police presence in all of our schools (both public and private) and we hired a consulting firm that specializes in school safety to review all of our public school buildings and make recommendations to us on how to make our schools even safer for our students and our staff. Finally, during the winter and the spring of the 2013 school year, we drilled our students and staff on lock down procedures and other important safety steps.
This year, as 10,300 students enter our buildings, our elementary school students will be greeted by safety advocates. These are new security personnel trained in all types of school security procedures and they will keep a watchful eye on the implementation of our security policies.
Over the last 10 months, the City of Danbury has spent more than a million dollars on new equipment, personnel and security plans to make our schools safe.
Of course, the most important thing that we can all do to ensure our children have a safe and secure school year is to be alert and be aware of their surroundings. Getting to know the children and the parents of the children in your child’s classroom is important to reducing the possibility of violence in our schools. It is also important that you become familiar with your child