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Letter: Doing security study themselves

Published 11:03 am, Friday, February 22, 2013
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I am writing in regards to an article written by Paul Schott about the appropriation of town money for a school-security survey.

In reviewing the article, what really stands out is the how quickly the Board of Finance acted to approve an additional $50,000 to finance the $100,000 cost of a security review by Kroll Inc.

I am totally in favor in conducting a security audit of our schools. Its more about how the finance board is so quick not to look for a less-costly solution. For example, take our sister town, Fairfield. The town has delegated the responsibility to its police force, and the study will be headed by Deputy Chief Chris Lyddy and Lt. James Perez.

Here is an overview, according to Perez, of the three-phase security survey:

1) Physical security assessment of all 27 public and private schools, focusing on exterior as well as interior security.

2) Security training program for all staff and administrators.

3) An intelligence program involving police and school administrators to focus on incident-based information to be shared so that a violent event can be acknowledged, assuming it could carry over to the schools.

These efforts and collaboration between the police and school staff are designed to strengthen communication so that risks can be reduced or eliminated. It creates a coordinated effort to utilize state, local and federal resources.

It is their view that the assessments will be conducted from a law enforcement point of view. These assessments will utilize appropriate methodologies to evaluate each site/event based on its unique characteristics and include security/mitigation strategies with the goal of creating a secure environment.

The cost for this is borne strictly by the Fairfield Police Department, according to Perez. Whom better to access the situation than the first responders. At least invite the Westport Police Department and their impute before we spend an additional $50,000.

Again it's not strictly the cost but more accurately the assessment and the benefits derived from it and who implements the findings.

Nick Castellano

Westport