Extra Officers in Schools Rejected in Old Saybrook

The town has two officers who work part-time in the town's schools

By Debra Bogstie
|  Saturday, Jan 12, 2013  |  Updated 11:39 AM EDT
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Extra Officers in Schools Rejected in Old Saybrook

The debate came nearly one month after the tragedy in Newtown where 26 people were gunned down, most of them children, inside Sandy Hook Elementary.

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After a lengthy and heated debate, the Old Saybrook Police Commission rejected a proposal to put additional officers into the town's schools.

Police Chief Michael Spera asked the commission to include funding for two new officers in its proposed budget.

The new officers would give the department enough staffing to have full-time school resource officers in every school, said Spera.

Right now, the town has two officers who work part-time in the town's schools, said Spera.  However, some commission members questioned whether Spera's plan could be achieved under current staffing levels.

The plan was voted down towards the end of a nearly four-hour meeting on the police budget.

The debate came nearly one month after the tragedy in Newtown where 26 people were gunned down, most of them children, inside Sandy Hook Elementary.

Concerned parents attended the hearing.

"Considering what's been going on, it's concerning. I just want to make sure that we can do everything we can to make sure our children are safe," said Tricia Goldsmith.

"There is without question a need for the school resource officers in all of our schools full-time. To hear the commission say that two may be adequate does not at all sit well with me as a parent," said Lesley Body.

After the vote, the chief told commissioners he still plans to push to expand the school resource officer program as the budget process goes on.

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