Audrey Washington, Steve Pancione
The town has hired 18 security guards to patrol all district schools
When students return to school in Enfield today, there will be uniformed guards carrying handguns and not everyone in the school district is happy about it.
The town has hired 18 guards to oversee security within the district. They will be stationed at the front doors and will also monitor school grounds.
School officials in Enfield started talking about the possibility of placing armed guards in the schools days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, that took the lives of 20 first graders and six educators.
The town also created a joint security committee that included town council members, board of education members, the town manager, school officials and police.
The police chief said the main goal is to protect the students and teachers.
The guards are retired officers from local police departments who've all undergone training, drug screenings, psychological evaluations and background checks. They will not carry handcuffs and won’t be authorized to arrest or interrogate students.
However, reaction from some parents is mixed.
"I don't think having an armed guard is going to stop anybody if they want to get in. I think they're going to get in," Debby Miller, mother of an Enfield High School student, said.
"It's going to be a more safer community, for not only students but teachers as well," Kayla Gilbert, a freshman at Enfield High School, said.
There are reports that a petition is circulating to bring the armed security initiative to a vote. It has about 2,500 signatures.