New Haven police chief tired of congressional inaction

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NEW HAVEN --  When New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell spoke about the latest mass school shooting, he seethed.

In a daily meeting at police headquarters Thursday, the primary directive was clear to all of the department's district managers.

"Make sure you go to the schools and talk with the students and talk with the principals to see how they’re doing," Campbell said.

The city's schools already have armed cops and security guards on duty daily, keeping an eye out for people who should not be in or around schools.

"Someone we know that was suspended, that made a threat, now that’s the main thing to the school," said officer James Baker. "We make sure that that name goes out and make sure we have a picture of him or her."

This, of course, creates comfort among staff and students "for everything that we’re doing at Hillhouse, Mr. Worthy, you know, having guards out and always paying attention, always making sure our bags are cleared," said Mahdeen Khan, a Hillhouse High School senior​.

And making sure they build strong relationships "with both the students and the staff too," said officer Nancy Jordan, an SRO at Hillhouse for seven years.

She received an award some years ago, when she spotted two individuals, across the street from Hillhouse, shooting at one another.

​"I immediately alerted the staff, told them immediate code red, this is not a drill," Jordan said proudly.

Her actions are a testament to school security and the New Haven officers drilling regularly, but the chief said until AR-14's are not legal for the public to possess, there'll be more of the same.

"It’s ridiculous," he said. "These are not weapons that are used for hunting. They are used for hunting other human beings because that’s what we’re seeing happen.

Passionate in part because he is also a parent.

"Literally, after the shooting, my 14-year-old said to me yesterday why should I go to school," Campbell said. "Look at what’s happening. He’s on his Snapchat feed that’s all everyone was talking about."

Campbell said Friday marks his 20th anniversary with New Haven police and, he adds, when he was a rookie, there was no such thing as active shooter training.