One item that will not be in Mayor Blake's 2013-2014 City budget is School Resource Officers, specially trained police officers who carry guns and become part of the school's environment.
Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Feser was looking to add one SRO at each high school, Jonathan Law and Foran, as well as two or three additional officers throughout the middle schools.
In a visit at Foran High School last week, Senator Chris Murphy addressed SRO issue, specifically asking about the possibility of a Police presence "criminalizing behavior" in Milford Schools.
Mayor Blake's budget calls for no staff increases and he said that the City of Milford will see if they can fund SRO's through Federal funds, though that issue will not be brought up in Congress until March 2013 at the earliest.
Mayor Blake pointed to the huge training process that SRO's go through and said that there is "no guarantee" that Milford will receive Federal funds for SRO's.
He noted that there would be between one to five School Resource Officers in Milford Public Schools, but not more than five.
What Are SRO's?
"SRO's are more than police in schools," said Milford Police Chief Keith Mello. "It's about building relationships and partnerships with school staff and students," while the officers would be "capable of addressing any threat to our schools."
Chief Mello added that SRO's can serve as mentors and advisors to students.
The Milford Police have applied for federal funds for SRO's on two separate occasions. Chief Mello believes that the programs "add a lot of value" to schools.
Your Take on the Issue
There has been a great deal of debate in the comments section of Milford Patch on the issue of SRO's.
Milford Patch user John wrote: "There are so many more things we can do before we resort to putting guns in our schools." and CuriousOrange noted, "Having an armed officer at Columbine did not deter the carnage."
Milford_Parent responded: "You think it's ok to put armed guards on a Brinks truck and at banks, but you all feel that is not appropriate for our precious children. Get a grip folks, its not Mayberry anymore."