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Police Continue Increased Patrols at Greenwich Schools

Greenwich Police assigned to maintain presence at nearly 2 dozen public and private schools.

 

Greenwich Police will continue a presence at the nearly two dozen public and private schools in town, just as they did on Friday in the wake of the massacre that left 20 students and six staffers dead at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Police Chief James Heavey said, "We have extra patrols from the patrol division, and officers from the Special Victims Section and Community Impact officers also are out to assist at the schools. …We do have extra officers at both the public and private schools."

He added, "There’s a constantly ongoing evaluation of (school) security. We had some drills planned this week that we’ve postponed" in light of the Dec. 14 attack in Newtown. "I’ll be meeting with (Greenwich School Superintendent) Dr. (Wiliam) McKersie and (First Selectman and Police Commissioner) Peter Tesei this week to review security issues."

But given the fact the suspected shooter, Adam Lanza, blasted his way through a locked door at the Newtown school, Heavey said authorities will be reviewing security procedures in place in Greenwich schools.

"Now we’re looking at it with a very different point of view…..the requirements of safety and security (versus) convencience…what is the best way to use resources that we have," Heavey said.

Nearly all Greenwich schools have limited access and security procedures in place—which, Heavey said, "will stay in place."

Meanwhile, in an e-mail to parents Monday evening, McKersie said, "I was deeply moved by the strength, fortitude and professionalism displayed by the GPS staff at a time of great difficulty, to ensure that our students returned to a welcoming, safe environment that was as close to normal as possible. I was also encouraged to see our security procedures in place and a visible police presence."

McKersie's message (please see the attached PDF) also included suggestions to parents on how to deal with children's questions and reactions to the shootings, and resources available through the schools and outside agencies.

Heavey said, "I believe the conversation with your children needs to be age appropriate. Children will not ask questions that they’re not ready to hear the answers to." He added, "Some of the younger children don’t need all the details but they will ask questions and will accept the answers … The kids in middle school are post 911 kids and are aware of heightened security—it’s part of their vocabulary."

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