Location:
SCHOOLS - VIOLENCE - SAFETY;
Scope:
Program Description;

OLR Research Report


June 5, 2013

 

2013-R-0164

(Revised)

NEW SCHOOL DISTRICT SECURITY MEASURES

By: Michael Csere, Legislative Fellow

You asked for a list of new security measures that the state's school districts have proposed or adopted in response to the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Connecticut newspapers have reported numerous new school security measures, either proposed or approved, by towns and school districts throughout the state since the Newtown shootings. These include:

1. Hiring new or additional security guards;

2. Increasing police presence in schools;

3. Installing new entry mechanisms at school doors (e.g., automatic locking devices, swipe-card entry systems, buzz-in intercom systems, panic buttons), bullet proof glass, surveillance cameras, and sally ports (secure entryways consisting of a series of doors);

4. Requiring new check-in protocols for all visitors;

5. Repairing existing security devices and structures; and

6. Reviewing existing safety plans.

Table 1 lists these measures, and indicates their current status (if known) and estimated cost. Approval has come through a local school board or town council vote or a referendum. When known, we have indicated whether the measures are being proposed town wide or at specific schools.

Table 1: New School District Security Measures (as of April 29, 2013)

School District

Proposed Security Measures

Status

Estimated Costs and Spending to Date

Amity (district includes Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge)

Upgraded one part-time security guard to full-time

Approved

$22,000 spent

Avon

Audible alarms on exterior doors

Annunciator panels to provide visual monitoring of door alarms

Primary locking hardware in each room (to lock doors from inside)

Video surveillance system

Replace district-wide two-way radio system

Approved by finance board, awaiting referendum on May 15th

$240,000

Brookfield

Phase 1: installation of double-buzzer system at main entrances, ID security windows for front offices, key card access for employee entrances, video surveillance at important access points

Phase 2: Replacement of locking mechanisms on doors

Phase 3: Installation of security gates at main entrances, purchase of 2 high-end police band radios for each school

Additional proposal: Hire four armed school resource officers (SROs)

Funding for phase one ($110,900) approved

$347,500 (building upgrades and equipment)

$300,000 (SROs)

Cheshire

Upgrade to existing remote door-lock system (replace staff keycards with fingerprint reading devices)

Other safety and security upgrades

Approved

$25,000 spent; town expects to spend $75,000 total

Colchester

Installation of secondary entrance and exit road for emergencies

Block corridors by entrance so visitors must go immediately to office upon entering building

Approved

$56,000

Enfield

Armed guards in all 10 of town's public schools

Approved by town council and school board

Estimated to cost $650,000 in first year, $500,000 in subsequent years

Glastonbury

Security guards for elementary schools

Locking mechanisms for doors, swipe-card entry systems, buzz-in intercom systems with panic buttons

Bullet-proof glass at sensitive locations in various buildings

Doors that were unlocked before Newtown shooting now locked

Approved by school board

$613,000 (installation of new systems and hiring of guards for remainder of current school year)

$315,000 annually (security guards for 2013-2014 school year and thereafter)

Hamden

Increased police presence

Security review underway

Approved

$5,000 spent

Madison

Install front door buzzer systems so all exterior doors can remain locked throughout the day

Approved

$45,000

Manchester

Surveillance cameras

Electronic locking devices

other security upgrades

Proposed

$400,000

Milford

Hire four new SROs

Hire greeters to decide who should enter and patrol hallways

Replacement of all locks in city's 14 schools

Add surveillance cameras

Seeking money to install rapid call buttons

Approved by Board of Aldermen

Up to $300,000 for SROs

$133,000 for greeters

Some locks already replaced for $420,000 through bonding, cost to replace remaining locks $220,000

$86,000 for rapid call buttons

New Haven

Community police officers actively connecting with schools in their neighborhood

Conducted review of security systems, which resulted in repairs

Create keycard systems for exterior entry to internal doors

Repairs already done

$12,000 for repairs

Newtown

Hire armed police officers for all 4 elementary schools

Approved by finance board, but school budget voted down in 2 referendums

Nearly $1 million

North Branford

Hire six armed security guards for town schools

Guards will carry two-way radio, will have background in law enforcement and current firearms permit

Guards will be trained by police department

Approved

$137,000 per year

North Haven

Upgrade security for four elementary schools and middle school

Hire armed school resource officers

Proposed

Security upgrades: $1 million

Armed SROs: $250,000 per year

Orange

Rapid call buttons in each school

Identification badge entry system

New automatic locks on all classroom doors

Video surveillance system

Sally ports at entrance to each school

Seeking an SRO position.

Some approved, SRO position proposed.

$150,000 approved. Town will also bond $705,000

Plainfield

Intercom system for all classrooms at one school

Door control buzzer at entrance of two buildings

Rear entrance surveillance systems at two schools

Panic buzzer providing immediate contact with police at various schools

Fencing repairs at outdoor play areas at two schools

Approved

$49,000

Ridgefield

Eight unarmed security guards hired and stationed at each school

Check-in protocol: use of only one entrance, visitors must present photo ID, recording of visitor purpose and entry and exit times

Computer, phone, and door buzzer being set up for guard stations

One evening security guard hired for high school

2 additional SROs and surveillance cameras

Additional request for bulletproof window locks expected later this spring or early summer

Approved by town boards, awaiting May referendum

$565,000 proposed for school security in 2013-2014 budget

Rocky Hill

Considered hiring 4 additional full-time SROs, one for each school during school hours

Instead, will devote that proposed money to create a security fund to use for yet to be determined school safety upgrades

Will hire Manhattan security firm to determine how best to improve school security

SRO proposal removed from budget (in addition to planned installation of sprinklers) to create a $1.6 million fund for school safety upgrades

SROs would have cost $255,000 plus benefits ($362,000 total) annually

Seymour

Considering hiring 4 full-time SROs

Subject to town-wide vote this spring

$377,000 annually

Simsbury

Considering hiring 1 additional SRO to work at both middle and elementary schools

Proposed

More than $100,000 annually ($77,000 salary plus benefits)

Sprague

Electronic locks with “panic button” on all interior doors at town's only school

Bullet-resistant film on all doors and windows on school's exterior

Construction of six-foot gate

Proposed

$45,000 (electronic locks)

$19,000 (bullet-resistant film)

$10,300 (gate)

Tolland

Upgrade surveillance equipment (updated camera licensing and increased storage capacity)

Structural changes to school designs

Proposed

$54,990

Wallingford

Install electronic access system at town's two high schools

Update intercom system

Cellphone repeaters at schools with poor cellular signals

Approved

Over $400,000

West Hartford

One additional full-time and two part-time security officers

Installation of panic buttons and keycard access systems

Proposed

$77,000

Westport

School safety study

Proposed

$100,000

Wethersfield

New position: Director of Security and Residency

Also seeking federal grant to fund police officer in middle school

New director position eliminated from budget

Would have cost $65,000 annually

SOURCES

AvonPatch, Town Manager Recommends $240,000 for Avon School Security Improvements, http://avon.patch.com/articles/town-manager-recommends-229-515-for-avon-school-security-improvements (February 8, 2013).

BrookfieldPatch, Board of Ed to Ask Town for Armed School Resource Officers, http://brookfield.patch.com/articles/board-of-ed-to-ask-town-for-armed-school-resource-officers (January 30, 2013).

BrookfieldPatch, Brookfield Educators Outline Plan to Improve School Safety, http://brookfield.patch.com/articles/brookfield-educators-outline-plan-to-improve-schools-safety (January 8, 2013).

BrookfieldPatch, Residents Unanimously Approve Phase I School Security Upgrades, http://brookfield.patch.com/articles/residents-unanimously-approve-phase-i-school-security-upgrades (January 18, 2013).

GlastonburyPatch, Glastonbury Board of Ed Approves Adding $500,000 for School Security, http://glastonbury.patch.com/articles/glastonbury-board-of-ed-approves-adding-500-000-for-school-security (January 11, 2013).

GlastonburyPatch, Glastonbury Council Approves Funding for New School Security Guards, http://glastonbury.patch.com/articles/glastonbury-council-approves-funding-for-new-school-security-guards (January 25, 2013).

Hartford Courant, Avon Finance Board Approves $81.76 Million Budget, http://www.courant.com/community/avon/hc-avon-budget-0412-20130411,0,6934035.story (April 11, 2013).

Hartford Courant, Enfield Reaches Agreement to Place Armed Guards in All Schools, http://articles.courant.com/2013-03-26/community/hc-enfield-school-security-vote-20130326-1_1_school-security-school-resource-officers-security-guards (March 26, 2013).

Hartford Courant, Glastonbury Board Of Education Supporting Reduced Plan to Put Security Guards In Elementary Schools, http://www.courant.com/community/glastonbury/hc-glastonbury-security-cut-0424-20130423,0,481484.story (April 23, 2013).

Hartford Courant, Newtown Voters Reject $111 Million Budget, Including Extra School Security, http://www.courant.com/news/breaking/hc-newtown-voters-reject-111-million-budget-including-extra-school-security-20130424,0,6720552.story (April 24, 2013).

Hartford Courant, Rocky Hill To Hire Firm To Analyze School Security Needs, http://articles.courant.com/2013-04-30/community/hc-rocky-hill-school-security-0501-20130430_1_school-resource-officers-councilor-larrye-police-chief-michael-custer (April 30, 2013).

Hartford Courant, Rocky Hill Changes Direction On School Security Plans, http://articles.courant.com/2013-04-29/health/hc-rocky-hill-school-security-0430-20130429_1_school-resource-officers-school-safety-council-member (April 29, 2013).

Hartford Courant, Rocky Hill Chief Urges Hire Of School Resource Officers, http://www.courant.com/community/rocky-hill/hc-rocky-hill-resource-officers-20130408,0,788728.story (April 8, 2013).

Hartford Courant, School Security After Sandy Hook: Ensuring Safety Within a Budget, http://articles.courant.com/2013-05-04/news/hc-school-security-newtown-0502-20130504_1_connecticut-school-school-resource-officer-school-security (May 4, 2013).

Hartford Courant, Simsbury Takes Steps To Hire Additional Police Officer For Schools, http://www.courant.com/community/simsbury/hc-simsbury-new-school-resource-officer-20130328,0,6850049.story (March 28, 2013).

Hartford Courant, West Hartford Superintendent Presents $140.05 Million Budget, http://www.courant.com/community/west-hartford/hc-west-hartford-schools-budget-0306-20130305,0,7403959.story (March 5, 2013).

Hartford Courant, Wethersfield School Board Eliminates Security Director Position, http://www.courant.com/community/wethersfield/hc-wethersfield-security-director-20130523,0,1948733.story (May 23, 2013).

Middletown Press, Connecticut School Districts Differ on Need for Police Presence http://middletownpress.com/articles/2013/03/16/news/doc514537c32d380514694513.txt?viewmode=fullstory (March 16, 2013).

New Haven Register, Connecticut Schools Making Security a Priority After Newtown Shootings, http://nhregister.com/articles/2013/02/03/news/doc510dee9016671358452354.txt?viewmode=fullstory (February 3, 2013).

New Haven Register, In Wake of Newtown Shooting, Connecticut Schools Eye All Possible Security Options , http://nhregister.com/articles/2012/12/16/news/doc50ce57155d748736780514.txt (December 16, 2012).

New Haven Register, Milford Budget Included 4 SROs, .69 mill Tax Increase, http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2013/05/16/news/milford/doc5195a167cb8d2127479076.txt (May 17, 2013).

New Haven Register, Newtown Voters Pass Town Budget, Reject School Budget for 2nd Time, http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2013/05/15/news/doc5192dcc17467c737270862.txt (May 15, 2013).

North Branford Patch, Meet North Branford Schools' Six New Security Officers, http://northbranford.patch.com/articles/meet-north-branford-schools-six-new-security-officers (February 1, 2013).

Norwich Bulletin, $50K sought for school security in Plainfield, http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/education/x898135162/-50K-sought-for-school-security-in-Plainfield#axzz2MmBiE2m5 (February 19, 2013).

Norwich Bulletin, Bacon Academy to Beef Up School Security, http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/x898139644/Bacon-Academy-to-beef-up-school-security#axzz2MmBiE2m5 (February 27, 2013).

Norwich Bulletin, Sprague School Board OKs $6 million Budget, http://m.norwichbulletin.com/norwich/db_97995/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=lm6f2RBv&full=true#display (February 6, 2013).

Ridgefield Press, Budget: Tax Hike and Spending Under 2%, http://www.theridgefieldpress.com/16616/budget-tax-hike-and-spending-under-2/ (April 12, 2013).

Ridgefield Public Schools, School Security Update, http://www.ridgefield.org/subsite/dist/news/2013/01/09/security-update-138378 (April 2, 2013).

TollandPatch, Council Sets Public Hearing for School Security Funding, http://tolland.patch.com/articles/council-sets-public-hearing-for-school-security-funding (January 9, 2013).

WallingfordPatch, Wallingford Town Council Approves Security Upgrades for Schools, http://wallingford.patch.com/articles/wallingford-town-council-approves-security-upgrades-for-schools (February 14, 2013).

WestportNOW, BOE Pulls $100K Security Audit Request from RTM, http://www.westportnow.com/index.php?/v2_5/comments/boe_pulls_100k_security_audit_request_from_rtm_agenda/ (March 5, 2013).

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