Armed retired officers to stand guard in N. Branford schools - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Armed retired police officers to stand guard in N. Branford schools


School officials in North Branford said some retired police officers have been offered positions to stand guard inside schools while armed.

According to officials, 55 retired police officers applied for positions to protect students and staff inside local schools.

Of the 55 applicants, officials said, four were chosen to stand guard full-time and between three and four were hired to work part-time.

Superintendent Scott Schoonmaker said coverage in all of the schools would be from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. in two shifts. There will be four full-time officers in all four buildings, and two part-time officers from 2 to 6 p.m., Schoonmaker said.

They will be paid $20 an hour and will not work during the summer or during school vacations. The money will come out of the school's budget.

The school district told Eyewitness News that the officers will be educating staff and students, overseeing security checks and looking closely at the school's facilities.

On Dec. 14, Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother while she slept in her bed before going to Sandy Hook Elementary School where he killed 20 children and six adults. He then killed himself as police entered the school.

"It was absolutely horrible and I still feel it was just horrendous," said Karen Bavolacco, of North Branford. "Those poor innocent babies and there was no need for that and if it can be prevented at any time then that would be the best thing."

The school district came to the town council to let them know about this plan right after the Newtown school shooting. Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook, the school hasn't removed police coverage.

"If you know you're child is being protected on a daily basis, then you can go to work with piece of mind that you've dropped your child off and everything is safe for them for the entire day," said Patty Vanacore.

The hope is to have the officers start in the next week or two.

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