Meriden schools to install security cameras - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Meriden schools to install security cameras


Many schools across the state have begun taking precautions in the wake of the shooting in Newtown.

On Friday morning, Adam Lanza had two pistols and the AR-15 when he entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and in just a matter of minutes, he fired multiple rounds, killing 20 children and six adults. Before the school shooting, he shot his mother four times.

In Meriden, security cameras will be installed in all eight elementary schools possibly as early as next week. The work, which includes cameras and buzz systems for the front doors, is expected to be done during winter vacation.

However, for some parents that is not enough.

"When little babies are getting killed, children are not safe to get an education I would go for police in the school system, 100 percent," said Sean Ennemoser of Meriden.

Safety and security are on the minds of parents now more than ever. The middle and high schools in Meriden already have school resource officers.

The superintendent said increasing security at the district's elementary schools was already something they were looking at, but now, they're taking action.

"We're going to do everything we can to keep our students safe and our building secure," said Meriden Superintendent of Schools Mark Benigni.

Benigni said each building will now have only one entry point that will be locked and secured with cameras and a buzzer system.

"I think we need to keep that balance, we're still a school system we want to keep our schools safe and secure," he said. "But, we also want to make sure they're welcoming to students and families, and keeping that balance was critically important to us."

The system will allow the office staff to see anyone approaching the building, buying critical minutes in an emergency, Benigni said.

With eight elementary schools in the district, Benigni said having an officer at each one isn't financially possible, nor does he think that step is necessary.

However, some parents would still like to see more.

"The idea of the buzzers is good. The cameras could go either way. The camera will catch the crime but it's already too late," Ennemoser said. "I think the resource officer is definitely the answer."

These systems will cost about $100,000, which is money that wasn't budgeted for.

It's coming out of the technology budget right now, but the superintendent said they'll figure out how to move the money around.

The city granted the school a bid waiver to get work started right away.

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