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Stratford Mom: A Constant Police Presence is Needed at Every Elementary School

Petition supports constant police surveillance at Stratford elementary schools.

A Stratford mom has created a petition on change.org that calls on the Stratford Board of Education and Mayor John A. Harkins to institute a more constant police presence at the district's elementary schools.

Currently the only full-time police surveillance is at the two middle schools and two high schools.

"We have to focus on tightening our securities already in place," Superintendent Irene Cornish told Patch last month.

But Carol Monte, the petition's creator, calls an increase in securities "a necessary step."

"The tragic incident that took place in Sandy Hook is an unfortunate reminder that even our youngest children are not safe at school," the petition states. "Although this does not guarantee their safety, it is a necessary step in deterring and possibly preventing such a tragedy in the future."

Related Article: Newtown Shooting Spurs Changes at Stratford Schools

Theresa January 24, 2013 at 11:15 PM
I agree with picking the RIGHT SRO, kid-friendly and approachable. I have, as of yet, heard of no discussion with the Chief of Police about supplying 9 officers to the elementary schools, how the shift in duty would affect the current staff, and how cash-strapped Stratford plans on hiring new recruits to fill the positions vacated by officers now on patrol who are reassigned. Perhaps we can, as a town, raise money by selling the currently vacant properties -- Stratford Engine Plant and Shakespeare Theater -- to anyone that has a pulse and a pocketbook and stop looking (as a fussy debutante) for "Mr. Right" to purchase them. It's an embarrassment for the town to have the South End look like Chernobyl because our town management is more interested in cutting deals than getting income producing businesses into the area. We could avoid a mil rate increase, hire new officers with public relations credentials and not think twice about where the money is coming from.
Theresa January 24, 2013 at 11:18 PM
About as exciting as watching 5 AT&T workers excavate Main Street for 8 hours. That is mind-numbing.
David January 25, 2013 at 12:38 PM
That needs some careful reading; quick reads show a lot of problems. One chart showed while they drove down many bad aspects (disruptive behavior, fighting), they drove up Bullying. Sounds like you teach the kids ways to hide from the police and not get caught. So they fear being sent to the SRO, thus are not disruptive or fight (because they fear being caught). So they turn to covert bully, what else might they be doing bad? Great. "Overuse of SROs by Elementary Schools. Over time, as elementary school administrators saw how helpful the SROs could be, they began using them too much (see the box “Relations between the Elementary Schools and the SROs”). Indeed, some elementary school administrators and parents pressured the school board (unsuccessfully) to expand the program to the elementary schools."
Patricia Clark Sperling January 25, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Theresa ~ First, Stratford does not own the Army-Engine Plant, so it is not its to sell. Second, Stratford needs an economic stimulator to start bring economic development back to Stratford so the burden of everything is NOT on the taxpayers. It’s been that way for far too long. Residential property owners and taxpayers have footed the bill for EVERYTHING because Stratford has essentially been “dead” in the economic growth department. The administration (both BOE and Town) cannot seem to get out of their own ways or the ways of partisan politics in order to do anything to help bring Stratford back economically. Selling a property isn’t going to pay for SROs, its going to go somewhere else on a partisan agenda. I have heard, from student at one of the schools where an SRO exists that an additional SRO was hired because the SRO there does absolutely nothing but walk up and down the halls and yell at the students. I was told that this SRO is ineffective, has not in any way “bonded” with the students, but is rather a dictator. I understand the job of police officers is difficult, but I know many that have absolutely great personalities and I know a few who should have their badges taken away.
Rose B January 27, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Still seem to be missing the point: SROs don't keep a shooter from killing in schools. They didn't at Columbine, VA Tech or the most recent school shooting. The problem isn't stemming from lack of armed cops on site. Did anyone hear about the kid that found a loaded gun in the student bathroom of his school? The SRO left it there after washing his hands, I think. More guns in schools the answer to massacre using a gun? What can go wrong.....?

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