State continues school safety talks post-Newtown

New Britain (AP) - A panel created after the Newtown school massacre is continuing its discussion on ways to improve security in school buildings throughout Connecticut.

The School Safety Infrastructure Council planned to hear Thursday from education professionals from around the state at a meeting at New Britain High School. The group has met on three previous occasions as it prepares recommendations on safety infrastructure standards.

After the Dec. 14 shootings that left 20 children and six educators dead, the General Assembly passed a wide-ranging law that included creation of the council to develop new standards to improve or enhance school safety and security. Recommendations are to be submitted by Jan. 1.

Members are examining measures, including the feasibility of reinforcing entryways and using ballistic glass, solid core doors, computer-controlled electronic locks and buzzer systems. The group also is looking into using security cameras on school grounds.

"The commission will be a valuable resource to determine and set minimum security standards for all school districts," said Paul Salina, chief operations officer for New Britain public schools.

The council is chaired by the Department of Administrative Services commissioner and includes other state commissioners, an expert in building security, a professional engineer, a public school administrator, a firefighter, a school resource officer and a teacher.

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