Superintendent Proposes Adding Police Officers at Milford Schools

Dr. Feser has been talking with Mayor Ben Blake and Milford Police Chief Keith Mello about adding School Resource Officers in Milford Public Schools.

While not a part of Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Feser's 2013-2014 budget proposal, Dr. Feser did note during a press conference last week that she has had conversations with Mayor Ben Blake and Milford Police Chief Keith Mello about adding School Resource Officers in Milford Public Schools.

School Resource Officers are specially trained police officers who carry guns and become part of the school's environment.

SROs would be part of the Mayor's budget. Dr. 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.

Dr. Feser had talked about adding SRO's prior to Sandy Hook. 

"Many districts in CT have SRO's in place. It's not a new concept, it's been around for a very long time," said Kathy Bonetii of Milford Public Schools. 

Attempts were made to reach the Connecticut State Department of Education regarding the number of School Resource Officers throughout Connecticut.

Dr. Feser described School Resource Officers as a "wonderful benefit in and out of school, wonderful for the community."

Dr. Feser noted that she agreed with Governor Malloy's recent State of the State speech in which he said "more guns are not the answer," but Dr. Feser pointed out that armed Milford Police Officers are already in Milford Schools, teaching the D.A.R.E. program, as well as being present at other school functions and events.


pete222 January 21, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Ed, the solution you're proposing would take a lot more time & research to implement than simply hiring extra bodies. I'm all for a technological upgrade to the entrances of the buildings, but realistically that would take a lot longer. As long as that's being considered as a *long* term solution, I'm in favor of the SROs for now.
Jorge Rosado January 21, 2013 at 06:09 PM
I think armed police of any kind in the schools is an awful idea. This is a knee jerk reaction to an event that while traffic and horrible is also very rare. I have two young children working there way through Milford schools and I want then to see school as a place to learn, a place that nurtures comfort. Armed guards turns into something else. Other than a bank, have you ever walked into a store with armed guards and thought " wow, I feel safe". More likely it was "Dam, what happened here". We need to take some time, take a breather from all this media driven hysteria. I work in N.Y.C and have been in schools as young as elementary level that had police in them and I tell you they have a very different feel than those that don't and its not related to neighborhoods or anything external.
FRANK PRIVITI January 21, 2013 at 07:08 PM
ho armed people in any of our schools it sends the wrong message. where is the money going to come from to pay for them. if they want them pay for them out of their own pocket not the taxpayers. otherwise cut the school budget in half. frank priviti
Larissa Watt January 21, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Ed. metal detectors wont help in certain situations..In Newtown even if there were detectors the guy would have ran past them..
Larissa Watt January 21, 2013 at 08:07 PM
Budget should not be an issue when protecting kids Frank--we seem to have an unlimited fund for war and homeland security so why not keeping our schools safe?
Larissa Watt January 21, 2013 at 08:17 PM
I wish we lived in a perfect world without guns and violence but that is not the path our society has chosen --it would be virtually impossible to disarm our nation so we need protection from the violent criminals..I am very happy with the steps Milford has taken..In another article it stated the police will be able to monitor all the schools from the station..all the school staff will have cards to enter building, they are updating all doors so they can be locked from within the classrooms and the school's all practice safety drills.. Do I want to see armed staff at schools? Of course not..but I believe they will act as a deterrent to potential intruders.. All of those commenting who are -anti-gun- have valid points but I believe your view might change if a lunatic shot down your children...No one ever thinks it can happen to them--and when it does it's always "what should have been done to prevent it in the first place"............I hope one day we live in a world we never have to lock doors or have to worry about a mass shooting but until then let's do the best we can to keep the kids safe..there is no perfect solution but atleast the administration are making moves.. After we buff up security I would definitely like to see our nation do more to assist those who are mentally ill with violent tendencies..also people reaching out to those who are society's outkasts or lonely..
Larissa Watt January 21, 2013 at 08:20 PM
I agree Ken, shatter proof glass at the entrances are a good idea..
Larissa Watt January 21, 2013 at 08:20 PM
What are your idea John?
John Pasnau January 21, 2013 at 08:25 PM
War and homeland security come from the federal budget. Guards at the schools come from the city budget. The city of Milford does not have an unlimited budget. How many kids have lost their life to an armed intruder in the last 100 years in CT? The answer is 20. (I googled it and can't fine another intruder shooting) How many in Milford? Zero. Sad as New Town is, overreacting to a statistically non existent problem is bad leadership, government and use of public money.
RONALD M GOLDWYN January 21, 2013 at 08:29 PM
So far no responder to this thread is in favor of putting Police Officers in our schools. The Supt of Schools is only stating a wish list as she knows the city, state and federal governments do not have the means to fund this expense. I mailed the BOE my solution toward protecting our schools students and hope they will adopt it. It involves a onetime cost of new classroom doors.
CuriousOrange January 21, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Having an armed officer at Columbine did not deter the carnage.
John January 21, 2013 at 10:36 PM
We can arbitrarily park empty police cars in school parking lots. It might make one wonder if an officer is in the building. Make Police drive by schools as part of routine patrol. More cameras. Better logistics inside the schools. I will bring up Harborside Middle school as a perfect example. Once you enter the school, the office has no vision of visitors. The office can be opened up with a giant glass window so the personnel can follow visitors path to the office. Once you get buzzed into the school, it is too easy to just take off down a hallway without being accounted for. A review of each school by our Police and Fire departments to suggest safety measures. I am seeing a conflict too. Is Dr Feser calling for actual Police or are we going to hire Resource Officers? What exactly is a resource officer?
John January 21, 2013 at 10:44 PM
once you hire them, you will NEVER be able to fire them!
Concerned Parent January 21, 2013 at 10:57 PM
@pete...I respectfully disagree...It would be a minor retrofit to any existing building. It's does not take a Frank Lloyd Wright to build a second set of entrance doors will bullet resistant glass and a metal detector.
Concerned Parent January 21, 2013 at 11:10 PM
@Ronald...What Milford needs to do is add an additional set of doors and enhance those doorways with re-enforced glass and install a metal detector in between both doorways. Anyone wishing to enter any of our school would need to follow the same process by getting buzzed in. But this time, they would then walk past a metal detector to the 2nd set of doors which they would need to be buzzed in a 2nd time. Both doors should have re-enforced glass. If someone is armed the metal detectors will sense it. With each school shooting, the vulnerability was in the individual's ability to get a gun inside the school. Stopping the threat at the front door is what needs to be done and this type of solution is not obtrusive. This type of security design is done at a lot of businesses. But for our children, simply having someone on guard as a deterrent does not ensure someone will be unable to get into the school with a weapon.
C.S. January 22, 2013 at 12:24 AM
You people talk about "putting guns in our schools" like the BOE is planning on hiring a minimum wage yahoo with a gun to guard our children, and not a trained police officer who knows what to look out for, and how to react appropriately. A resource officer is so much more that a person with a gun awaiting a madman, they interact with kids, the gain kids trust, kids who have problems but are afraid to talk to someone may be able to go to the resource officer for answers and/or help. Finally as for the Newtown situation, I believe that had they had an officer on sight the outcome would have been totally different. Most assailants would think twice about attacking a place knowing that someone inside will return the appropriate force necessary to stop what they plan on doing. I also agree with creating a secured vestibule entry system, one that much like a bank would trap a person with bad intentions, but getting approvals and getting a system like this built takes time, an officer could be there tomorrow. Finally your security is only as secure as your worst staff member, meaning that no doors on the perimeter should be propped open and nobody regardless of who should be allowed entry via any door other than the front (or designated) entry door.
Bertcelis Morales January 22, 2013 at 12:59 AM
we should consider armed security officers that would save the city budget money and would also be as effective. some schools are using them already with success
kokopop January 22, 2013 at 12:59 AM
I'm so very happy my children are grown and I don't have to worry about police officers in the school vs metal detectors etc....what a sad sad world!
Bertcelis Morales January 22, 2013 at 01:06 AM
i think what wuld work is a combination of things in place shatter proof glass medal detectors as there are already in place in bpt schools for years now armed security officers.The sandy hook newtown school incident was something that no one knew or expected to happen in that town we have to be prepared for anything.Look whats been going on with other kids since then in different cities. Any one can get stressed out wih life problems finances not just the armed security officers as we also have seen in the past
Milford_Parent January 22, 2013 at 05:20 AM
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. Stop putting the parenting job on society and take responsibility for actively raising your children with better ethics and morals than the inner city gang members that continually demonstrate no respect for human life. Talk to your children. Teach your children RESPECT, teach your children to have RESPECT for firearms. I commend Dr Feser for suggesting an option that may not be popular. Please protect my children by placing armed resource officers at the schools as a first line deterrent. I hope it never happens again in the rest of my lifetime because we don't want reports after the fact - we want that protection to have the ability for stopping a threat of that nature forever more before they get a step inside.
Dave January 22, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Armed guards are not the answer. They weren't the answer at Columbine. They weren't the answer at Virginia Tech. They weren't the answer at Fort Hood. There is also the question of the training and policies for armed school guards. Even highly trained individuals, such as police officers, will tell you that almost anything can happen in a shooting situation. Last year several cops responded to a shooting near the Empire State building in NYC. Within minutes eight unarmed, innocent civilianns were shot by mistake. What happens when a SRO with six weeks of training sees a suspicous UPS guy, or an angry parent? As far as guards as a means of detering shooters -- most of these killers seemed to have planned to die as part of their rampage. I don't think an armed guard will do much to prevent that.
RONALD M GOLDWYN January 22, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Ed, as a former Supt. of Constr. and Struc Engineer, your suggestion has merit and should be considered, even if it is an add-on to every existing main entrance. The question of metal detectors require a major investment similar to airports, both in equipment and personnel to do the scanning. It is one thing to do this in a high school with the students, but or adult visitors wishing to pickup a sick child it appears extreme, but is something that could be worked out. The whole concept is that we will now send our children to a prison every day, because of NRA opposition to reducing the 300,000,000 guns available now. Restrict ammunition as we do with tobacco and alcohol and also shorten its shelf-life with added tags to trace it. This will also do much to reduce the problem. The second amendment says nothing about this and I don't worry about the few who load or reload their own ammo. Attacking a school is not a criminal act, but one that has a mental situation. The same holds true for shooting up a theater. We would worry if this same person without a gun would think about using arson instead.
RONALD M GOLDWYN January 22, 2013 at 04:49 PM
I don't agree, my GRANDchildren are now in college and I do worry about the younger generations. It is not for you to bury your head in the sand and say its not my problem. Maybe its our combined suggestions that the solution will be found.
RONALD M GOLDWYN January 22, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Ask the Supt. how she will pay for her proposal. Is it by a surtax? The city cannot afford it, the state cannot afford it and the federal government is trying to spend even less. The cost of Police in every school I estimate is $250,000 per yer per school, and were I a Police officer I would not want to go against a criminal or an insane individual with a handgun against their assault style weapon. What a visual thought will be made for seeing a policeman patrolling the school carrying an assault weapon?
David Chesler January 22, 2013 at 05:24 PM
"The sky is not falling folks." That is worth repeating. Of course what happened was terrible, and for us close to home, but we should examine what are the expected costs and expected benefits are of any proposal before making changes, both here, and in Hartford, and in Washington.
David Chesler January 22, 2013 at 07:38 PM
If the armed officer doesn't do anything when things go down, as at Columbine, it won't help. On the other, if the person who does do something when it happens is not armed, as at Sandy Hook, that doesn't help much either.
David Chesler January 22, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Ronald, I'll have to find the source, but most of these killers have given up and killed themselves as soon as they faced any armed resistance. It's not the style of the weapon that makes it lethal, it is the bullet coming out the front -- a 9mm is a lot more likely to stop with one shot than a .223.
CuriousOrange January 22, 2013 at 08:37 PM
You can't count on suicide, David. At Columbine, two officers fired at the shooter -- and missed. Other shooters are in custody. Today SWAT, ATF and others are searching for a shooter at Lone Star college in TX.
Concerned Parent January 22, 2013 at 11:01 PM
@Ron, the cost should not be a concern if those being protected are our children. I'm sure that parents and other Milford residents would agree.
David Chesler January 23, 2013 at 01:24 AM
Relevance, CuriousOrange, of one Texan shooting another after an argument?


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