WOLCOTT, CT (WFSB) – “Police shouldn’t be in schools.”
That’s a quote from Senator Chris Murphy who is looking to eliminate police officers or school resource officers.
Murphy introduced the bill earlier this week.
On Friday, he told Channel 3 he wants to keep schools safe, but a police officer with a gun isn’t a way to do that.
Meanwhile, a local school resource officers says they’re much more than their title.
The video released by Murphy has been a topic of conversation.
“Tens of thousands of kids are arrested at school every single year and a disproportionate number of these students are Black and Latino,” Murphy said in the video.
Murphy is making a case to eliminate police officers and school resource officers in schools.
“It’s time to get police officers out of our schools,” Murphy said.
With the support of three other lawmakers, Murphy argues minority students are getting arrested too often.
“If you’re a Latino student, you are six times more likely to get arrested in school if there is a police officer in your school. You’re three times more likely if you’re Black,” Murphy said.
Channel 3 caught up with Murphy at an event on Friday and asked him about the video, he says he wants kids to be protected.
“I want security personnel in my kids’ school, I don’t know I need a uniformed police officer with a gun and the power to arrest kids,” Murphy said.
Angelo Mauriello has been a police officer for 12 years. As a school resource officer in Wolcott for the past three years, he’s never made an arrest.
“An arrest doesn’t help the situation. Getting to know the person and what’s the underlying issue and address that and helping cope with or deal with that is the real objective, not making an arrest,” Mauriello said.
Instead, he’s well-known at all Wolcott schools. He attends school events like one where students raised money for their local food bank. He even took a pie to the face.
Mauriello is also a DARE officer.
“I feel we do a lot of good in these roles as police officers in a school setting, but also as a parent, I have three children of my own that are in the system that I function in and I have an invested interest in my kids as well as the safety of other children that goes through those doors,” Mauriello said.
Keeping kids and students safe is Mauriello’s number one priority.
“God forbid anything were to happen. I know to call over the radio to get the proper resource to come in the right direction and how many, I’m here. That’s valuable information, that’s priceless information we can get,” Mauriello said.
Murphy says in his proposal, it’s really up to each district to decide if they want a school resource officer or police officers in their school.