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Granby Officials Review School Safety Policies in Wake of Newtown Shooting

Town officials and emergency personnel are taking a closer look at emergency procedures following the deadliest elementary school shooting in history.

Following a tragic shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., Granby and Simsbury officials are taking steps to ensure a similar tragedy does not occur in local schools.

When news of the extent of the violence that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School began to filter out, local officials began to look at their own town's policies and procedures for an incident like what took place in Newtown.

Almost immediately, police, school and town officials in Simsbury and Granby were in contact and conversations about safety policies and procedures began.

"We're assessing where we are right now," Simsbury Police Capt. Nicholas Boulter said.

Police officers were immediately dispatched to local schools on Friday to establish a presence and help residents feel safer in a time of tragedy.

"The purpose is to make the department more accessible," Boulter said.

In Granby, Superintendent Alan Addley contacted parents to inform them of an increased police presence at the schools and after-school events.

"It has been a tragically sad day for Connecticut and the Newtown community," Addley said.

Granby schools' crisis team met to review plans and support students on Monday, according to Addley. The email letter to parents also included a tip sheet to help parents address Friday's events with their children.

Simsbury emergency personnel and school officials plan to meet Tuesday to discuss their emergency procedures.

“We continue to mourn the loss of innocent victims of the Newtown school tragedy,” First Selectman Mary Glassman said. “At this time Town Staff, the Simsbury Police Department and the Simsbury Board of Education are working closely to ensure that our schools and our children are safe.”

In addition to consideration given to local policies, the Simsbury officials contacted contacted Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra to offer assistance. At the town's request, the Simsbury Police Department will send an officer to support local safety personnel, according to town officials.

Farmington Valley residents have also rallied to support Newtown families with Operation Snuggle Newtown which will collect stuffed animals for the town's children. Businesses like Foy and Foy Attorneys at Law in Simsbury have offered to be drop locations for donations and the stuffed animal population has already begun to grow.

In the wake of the Newtown school shooting, questions are plenty and answers are still not within reach for communities around the world as they work to find peace and a resolution to prevent future mass killings in our schools. Officials say they will continue to maintain an open review of policies to ensure student safety moving forward.

Susan Accetura December 18, 2012 at 05:47 PM
In my opinion, the school administrators and teachers in Granby have done a very good job in their response to this tragedy. We have children in three different schools, and each school addressed this in an age-appropriate fashion. What happened is absolutely tragic, but we cannot live in fear. The teachers' actions in Newtown likely saved dozens if not hundreds of lives, and our teachers would do the same to protect their classrooms. I think that greater police presence would add fear to the schools. As another poster mentioned, the chance of this happening in our town is slim to none. We risk greater danger each time we get into our cars, board a plane, or go for a swim.
GranbyMama December 18, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Well said, Susan. I would hate to see our schools become mini-prisons with armed guards.
Terry Wright December 18, 2012 at 09:18 PM
I'm sure that the people of Sandy Hook felt the same way Thursday. "the chance of this happening in our town is slim to none"
Jimmy December 18, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Prisons are buildings where bad people are locked inside to keep the rest of us safe. The locks are on the INSIDE of the doors. Armed guards are there to keep the bad people inside of the prisons. Your analogy is beyond flawed. No one is talking about turning the schools into prisons. If it weren't for the rapid response of the Newtown Police, there would have been many, many more lives taken. The only reason the kid stopped shooting was because he heard the police coming. Lethal force must be overcome with lethal force. The true fact is that no one inside of that school would have been able to stop this carnage because the law only allows police to carry weapons in schools. Our children are our most cherished and valued assets. Why not protect them with "armed guards?"
Jimmy December 19, 2012 at 05:06 AM
"Because 'armed guards' give children the impression that the bad guys are out there just TRYING to get in." Isn't that the same feeling that they get when the teachers are locking the classroom doors once all of the children are inside? Quite frankly, the children see police officers all of the time. Do they not feel safe when there not around? Your attempt at not protecting the most innocent among us is pretty weak. I for one am not for "armed guards" in the schools. That job would be better left up to police officers. By the way, the guards or officers weapons need not be exposed and they can dress in casual street clothes if it makes YOU feel better. The argument that you are trying to make is as silly as the "Firearms are prohibited" sign that hangs on the front of each school. To a murdering criminal that means, "come on in and do what you want because no one is capable of defending themselves here!"

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