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Letter: School-security editorial faulty

Published 10:11 am, Friday, February 15, 2013
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The recent Westport News editorial regarding the proposed school-security study ("Don't scrimp on Westport school-security study," Feb. 8) surely had its foundation in concern for the safety of Westport's children attending our public schools.

Regrettably, the editorial suggested that one or more RTM members were seriously misguided in their belief that town personnel -- police, fire and others -- should take the lead on the security study.

Far more troubling was the statement that "some members of the RTM are looking for ways to do the assessment on the cheap."

As a member of the RTM not supportive of the hiring of security consultant Kroll Inc. to do the study, I can only say that the cost -- whether $100,000, $50,000 or less -- has substantially nothing to do with my thinking. My focus is on the ultimate result. I believe that town and school personnel, with detailed knowledge of our schools and an understanding of the attitudes of our citizens as to what should and should not be considered, combined with the likelihood that a study by Kroll would result in recommendations that would divide our town, will do a better job.

I also believe that the interactions of our police and the school administration will generate a cooperative and understanding spirit that will promote dramatically a positive relationship between our police and our schools. As to an alternative use of $100,000, my guess is that monies could be well spent on programs to identify and deal with youth with serious anti-social tendencies, including former students.

In contrast to the editorial, Woody Klein's column the Westport News of Feb. 13 ("School security plan omitted police input") evidences to me a far better analysis of the security issue. Woody's column also avoids the questionable emotional qualities of the editorial, the worst of which being the statement that "We are confident that each of their (Sandy Hook victims') parents would pay $12,500 in an instant to have their child back."

Don Bergmann

Westport