Milford Police will be present in all school buildings this week, and all visitors to schools will need to schedule an appointment, according to a message sent to parents Sunday from Milford Schools Superintendent Robert Tremblay.
The additional security steps are being taken in the aftermath of a school shooting Friday that killed 26 children and school employees at an elementary school in Newtown, CT. The gunman fatally shot his mother at her home, before the shootings, then took his own life following the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Milford school and police offiicials decided to increase security at all schools, after considering what they, as parents, would want to see on the reopening of schools Monday, said Tremblay, in an email message.
Milford Police already have two full-time officers assigned to the public schools. In addition to these officers, police officers will be stationed at all school buildings throughout the school day, and at community or school events held in the buildings at night.
In addition, Tremblay said, administrators will be more visible in the school buildings, as will School Committee members. Crisis counselors will be available in all schools.
For visitors, access will be restricted this week unless appointments have been made in advance; student dismissals will require prior parental authorization.
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The additional security steps were announced following a meeting Sunday afternoon that Tremblay said he had with Milford Police, school principals, a representative of Riverside Community Counseling and members of the School Committee.
"Beyond the increased safety efforts for this week, we will continue to review all of our procedures and practices in an effort to ensure the safety of every child in the Milford School district," Tremblay wrote, in a message sent to Milford parents. "To minimize the chances of something like this happening in our community, we are counting on you as partners in this effort."
He continued: "Please talk with your children about the importance of talking with a responsible adult if they feel concerned about a friend or classmate. Should your child exhibit any unusual fears, the School Department, Police Department, or Counseling staff can be helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact any of us for assistance. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of the victims and the teachers and administrators whose selfless actions saved many lives that could have been lost in this incomprehensible act of violence."