Patch's Poll: Would You Pay More in Taxes to Have a Police Officer in Every School?

Some are calling for police protection in the wake of Newtown school shooting.

Many school districts — in Connecticut and across the country — have called on police departments this week to station officers at every school building after the mass shooting that left 20 schoolchildren and six staff members dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Friday.

But the measure is temporary. Most police departments don't regularly assign officers to every school, particularly elementary schools.

According to Wednesday's New York Times, about one-third of public schools "had armed security staff in the 2009-10 school year, the most recent year for which data are available." Most of those officers were stationed in high schools.

Some say the added protection would be worth the cost of paying for additional officers, while others say armed officers might scare young children and escalate the atmosphere of violence.

Would you pay more in taxes to have police officers in every school, every day?

Take our poll and tell us in the comments.

Art Kuever December 19, 2012 at 09:32 PM
There are some officers that hit the mandatory retirement age, maybe these officers if able can pull this duty at a reduced rate. I would pay for a resource officer at schools.
Stephen Borrelli December 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Town should offer school janitor jobs to all retiring police officers and let the carry thier firearm.
Richard Poulton December 19, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Questions. Is the DARE officer assigned to one school or does he/she float from school to school? Is this DARE officer in uniform or plain cloths? Is this officer armed while on duty in the schools performing the duties required? Are uniformed officers allowed to enter the school on a complaint of sorts or are only plain clothed detectives dispatched?
Nick Palladino December 19, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Richard, The DARE officer is in uniform and armed. Patrol officers do go to the schools to take complaints. The sad truth is that the PD is now and has always been under staffed. We have no more officers now then when I started back in 1980. A study done when Bob Norman was mayor said that the PD should have 65 officers. Now many years later, we still have only 50. I hope the people of this town see the need to add people to our PD. One of the new officers that retired from NHPD said that he now has a new respect for EHPD. Could not belive how much they do with so little help. Hope everyone has a nice Christmas. Nick Palladino Sr.
Andy December 20, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Absolutely YES! This is the best defense against another tragedy and for having a law enforcment ear closer to other problems that MAY creep into the schools such as bullying or drugs, etc. I might prefer the officer be in plain clothes though, to maintain a level of normalcy. I would like to see this discussion furthered.
Jay December 20, 2012 at 02:17 AM
What is a single cop going to do ? In order to provide the kind of security you are talking about would involve two to five officers from 7 to 5:30 covering the doors and patrolling. A determined killer like Lanza could easily surprise and make one or more his first victims. The only real defence is not to go out at all. - Homeschool ..
Jay December 20, 2012 at 02:19 AM
PS: A study by the Rand Corporation of trained law officers in an exchange of gunfire found that those officers “hit their intended target less than two out of 10 times.
Anselmo Delia December 20, 2012 at 03:50 AM
I think some serious consideration should be given to having administrators (principal and/or assistant) trained in the proper use of a taser and have a couple available in a secure place. I really don't think guns in a school are ever a good idea--can you imagine what might happen if a "troubled" student were to get his hands on one after disabling a teacher, principal or other?
Roseann December 20, 2012 at 11:47 AM
I would gladly pay more taxes & donate $ towards a fund for it.
Charles December 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Great, homeschool so you can warp your kid's mind with stories of people riding dinosaurs to church, and creationism, and that Muslims, gays and people of color are bad for society. Thanks for the input Jay!
SolarPete December 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Funny to read all these comments where i live every school has a resource officer Seems all the kids love him or her and they feel so safe. The officer has an office in the school as an idea maybe they need to train the janitor to be able to help when there is an emergency now if this guy had a gun in new town he could have killed this kid before it happened Why pick on retired police many eat way too many donuts and can't see their feetI think u should tap into any retired military man or women who knows how to be a cop on the beat and enjoys kids
Arbie December 20, 2012 at 01:16 PM
It is a great idea to employ armed officers at schools. Our taxes would not be effected at all if you reduce the over paid salaries of the superintendents and administrators and use that savings to fund the officers.
jody December 20, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Pete Retired cops , active , military all regret that they weren't there to help . Many cops are x military . Security guards or police are a viable source . Personally prefer the pd . Jody k
bball fan December 20, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Why does it have to be on the taxpayers to pay more in taxes? Why does it have to be put in those terms? Why can't they cut some admin expenses in the school systems? How about ask the public if they want a police officer or an extra vice-principal in each school. I bet I know which way the voting would go on that. Why does it always have to be on the tax payer? At what point did it become mandatory that the BOE budget has to increase every year?
Peter T. Cianelli December 20, 2012 at 04:44 PM
The way to protect our kids is very simple..... These evil people that want to harm others will always strike the defenceless.... these cowards would never enter a building that they know someone is armed... We should allow for volunteers, teachers and staff to carry a pistol, they must have a Connecticut license to carry a concealed handgun; must be authorized to carry by the district; must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations and must use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.
Cliff December 20, 2012 at 04:54 PM
...and then we'll require all priests and clergy to have a gun mounted beneath the pulpit, and all nursery school workers to carry a sidearm, and require receptionists at all nursing homes to be trained in semi-automatic weaponry, and have the cashiers at Stop & Shop have a holstered hand gun at all times and the guys that take your ticket at the movie theater and.....
WC Ryan December 20, 2012 at 05:46 PM
However, many of these sociopaths like Lanza shoot themselves when given resistance-- that's what prevented further deaths/injuries at the Oregon shooting the week before. The vast majority have an "end game" plan and when confronted kill themselves. 911, while great, still results in a 5-10 minute reponse time in which many rounds can be fired.....
Peter T. Cianelli December 20, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Cliff.... what do you suggest ?? maybe doing away with our 2nd Ammendment ?? maybe we can ban all cars because 32,000 people were killed last year in car accidents... why don't you come up with a suggestion ??
melinda tillie December 20, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Having Police in schools is only a bandade. How can i officer stop anyone carrying an assault weapon? Lets get rid of the assault weapons except for Military or Police. Who the hell really needs a weapon such as in Newtown, unless you are going to off many people.The multi clips should go also..
MrsSmithWatchingWashington December 20, 2012 at 09:08 PM
In addition, teachers and administrators, volunteers, secretaries, everyone working in schools should have to take a mandatory course that teaches them how to recognize behavior that may be signs of mental illness or instability. For instance, bipolarism usually shows up in teens and those in their early to mid twenties. It is often misdiagnosed as depression. The mood swings are horrible for children to try to handle without diagnosis, therapy and medication. Many times it results in suicide. So, we have to be thinking not just about how to physically protect our children, but how to mentally protect them, too.
bball fan December 20, 2012 at 09:29 PM
That would have done nothing in this case. Parents and family doctors need to be able to identify these things. And they did in this kids case. Making secretaries and volunteers take a course will mean nothing. Most troubled teens are obvious and school admin's are aware of them. Unfortunately, once they are 18, it takes a lot to get them help. I prefer the armed security in every school. Most of these shooters are cowards and will not even consider confronting anyone who may hurt them.
LORI VOGT December 20, 2012 at 11:39 PM
How about leave the guns out of school, and make sure our schools are more secure physically instead. LOCKING doors ( I can't tell you how many times I have entered a North Branford school and not a soul even looked up to see who walked in) should be mandatory. Exposed glass areas can be protected with metal grates, and they don't have to be ugly and look like jail bars. My husband's company makes beautiful metal protective grates, so I know. Buzz-in entry systems are an option also. The school's main office should have a direct view of the main entrance. Of course, metal detectors have always been an option also. School counselors need to have more training on bullying prevention and mental illness symptoms. There is alot we can do without guns or police presence.


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