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Ridgefield Parents Support Tighter Security At Schools

The police presence may be gone after the New Year, but Ridgefield parents say they're happier with the improved security measures at the schools after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The police presence may be gone after the New Year, but Ridgefield parents say they're happier with the improved security measures at the schools after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – Security guards and police cruisers greeted the children of Ridgefield when they returned to school Monday, only three days after Newtown experienced one of the worst school shootings in history.

Monday also brought another scare to parents when all nine schools in Ridgefield were put into a lockdown after a person was seen in the area of Branchville Elementary School with what appeared to be a rifle .

“It’s to help people feel better,” Ridgefield police Capt. Tom Comstock said of the police presence at the schools. And after the deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, “We’d rather be safe than sorry. We’d rather have the security presence.”

The police officers will remain in schools this week and security guards until the end of the school year, Superintendent Deborah Low said in a statement this week. A security review will take place so the district can see where and how it might increase security.

This added security can bring comfort to parents but also concerns. The Ridgefield Daily Voice asked residents on Facebook to say how they felt about the increased security.

“My second-grader says it makes him feel safer,” posted Lisa Guido Cousins. But she asked, “How will he feel next week when they’re gone?”

If it makes the children feel safer, then Jeffery Albanesi says he is for the security measures. “Ii just think it is a real shame that this is what is necessary nowadays.”

Kerri Kneip Austin posted that her husband had commented “anyone can walk in because the security guard has no idea who anyone is and they aren't asking for ID.” Austin questioned how much good the security would do if they weren’t asking for identification.

Many parents felt the same way, several saying that requesting ID should be policy at each school and with the security guards. “IDs need to be cross-referenced against school directory! Then bags checked,” Stephani Ball Brown posted.

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