Enfield OKs armed guards for all schools
Enfield (AP) - A second Connecticut town has decided to place armed guards in all its public schools in response to the killings of 20 students and six educators in Newtown.
The Board of Education in Enfield, about 20 miles north of Hartford, voted 5-4 Tuesday night in favor of stationing armed guards at all 11 public schools in town and implementing a series of other security measures beginning next fall. North Branford's school board approved armed guards in all schools in January.
"We want to throw as many hurdles as we can before an armed gunman can get into a building," Enfield police Chief Carl Sferrazza said Wednesday. "We refuse in Enfield to accept any casualties in our schools."
Cities and towns across the country have been debating whether to arm educators or hire armed security guards after the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In February, the school board in Colorado's Dolores County voted to allow the school superintendent and a high school principal to double as armed security officers. In New Jersey, Passaic Valley High School's board of education voted unanimously last month to allow the school's principal, a retired police sergeant, to carry a concealed weapon during the school day.
Sferrazza served on a panel of town leaders that recommended the extra security measures after nearly three months of discussion.
All the armed guards in Enfield will be trained in security tactics and firearms use, and the town will be giving preference to retired law enforcement personnel for the jobs, Sferrazza said. The guards will cost the town more than $600,000 a year and be stationed at 10 public schools and a Head Start center.
They will join town police officers already stationed at Enfield's two high schools and middle school.
In North Branford, Superintendent of Schools Scott Schoonmaker told the New Haven Register this week that the guards have been working since early February without guns. He said the town is waiting for the state to certify the guards for weapons.
Glastonbury also added security guards to its schools this year, but officials have declined to say whether they are armed.
Newtown officials are considering putting armed police officers in all seven town schools, under a plan that received preliminary approval by the finance board this month.
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