EAST HAMPTON, CT (WFSB) -- Educators in East Hampton are considering whether or not to arm its school security officer at the high school.
Currently, the security officer at the high school does not carry a weapon, although he is a retired state police trooper.
East Hampton High teachers, parents, and students are being urged to attend a meeting next Monday, where the topic will be discussed.
Right now, the question is drawing a mixed reaction.
“Yes, I think it’s a good idea, absolutely. We need to protect our children,” said Patty Van Bourgondien, of East Hampton.
“It’s got pros and cons on both sides,” said Mark Steiner, of East Hampton.
School Superintendent Paul Smith said the idea was recently spawned by the Board of Education’s Policy Subcommittee.
He said it’s not the result of any immediate concern or issue at the high school.
“Nothing is predicating this, there is no issue, but we felt if this is something we wanted to start in the fall, we needed to start the process now,” Smith said.
The district had considered hiring a school resource officer but it was cost prohibitive.
Having a retired state trooper, or police officer like the one walking the halls since September, apparently works well. He’s trained and certified and an alumnus.
“He kind of meets that Connecticut legislation of being able to be armed should the board of education wish to do that because he’s a retired state trooper,” Smith said.
An armed security officer would have several requirements, like being a retired Connecticut state police officer, or a police officer must undergo a full background investigation, and must complete annual training and required certification.
The input meeting is being held Monday, May 13 at the high school at 5:30 p.m.