Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is set to make a major school security announcement at noon Wednesday, another step toward making schools safer in the wake of the Sandy Hook School shooting.
Immediately following the school shootings in Newtown, the governor created the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, a group tasked with looking into the effectiveness of things like school safety, mental health services and gun control. The 16-member panel continues to meet as they work on their final recommendations.
State law requires each local or regional school board to both provide a safe school setting and to conduct crisis response drills every three months. The law has no specific definitions of what must be done, but many towns and cities have made major changes to school security.
In Farmington, unarmed security monitors were added to each school as well as school resource officers. In Enfield, each of the town’s 14 public and parochial schools now have an armed guard at the door. Glastonbury schools added seven guards.
Other school districts added cameras, door buzzers, card-entry systems and even bulletproof glass. Newington spent the summer expanding its network of security cameras and hiring two new security personnel. And in Rocky Hill, the town council has set aside $350,000 for school security improvements.
Meanwhile, schools across the state have been applying for the School Security Competitive Grant Program. Those grants would reimburse districts for a portion of the costs associated with making safety and security improvements. An announcement on who will get the money is expected this month.