Leaders in one CT town are looking to make their schools safer by adding a school resource officer to the high school.
Plymouth Mayor David Merchant wants to add a school resource officer to patrol district campuses full time.
Merchant detailed the plan in a public discussion, where there were about 50 people who attended.
The mayor said he was influenced by district parents and student who said they feel increasingly uneasy after the recent school shooting in Florida.
Plymouth used to have an SRO, primarily at Terryville High School until 2016.
The town cut a police officer position in May of 2016 for budget reasons and as a result, the department decided to eliminate the SRO position.
Merchant believes the town can bring back the position by reorganizing the department because the town can’t afford to hire a new officer.
The Plymouth Police Chief disagrees and believes the town should hire an extra officer for this position.
The mayor isn’t sure when the reorganization will take place, but expects and SRO will be back patrolling the district by the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.
“A school should be the safest place in the world for a kid. A kid should not have to worry about being shot or attacked in a school, it should be safe. So, we’re going to do whatever we can do to help that situation,” Merchant said.
The mayor wanted to speak with parents because the issue has become much more emotional since the Florida school shooting.
"It's been challenging. We're definitely concerned as parents for the safety of not only our children, the children in our community, but across the United States. It's becoming a more serious issue unfortunately, and I think it really needs to be addressed," said Kellie Iacovella, a parent.
Iacovella's daughter Sofia is a 7th grade student at Terry Middle school, and told Merchant she believed a SRO should be added to protect local classrooms.
"I think the police presence does a lot for the students as well as the staff. It's important for everyone to know that there's someone that they can rely on if there's an instance," Iacovella said.
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