Connecticut school announce security enhancements after hoax active shooter calls

Marcus Solis Image
Wednesday, November 2, 2022
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Nearly two weeks ago, several Connecticut schools were targeted including Stamford high school. Marcus Solis has the story.

STAMFORD, Connecticut (WABC) -- Officials in Connecticut announced school security enhancements after a high school was targeted with a fake call about an active shooter.

While the call was a hoax, it revealed a serious breakdown in communication when it came to alerting other nearby schools.

The flawed response was greeted with overall security upgrades.

The new enhancements will prioritize investments in school security infrastructure, communications, and safety training.

"It was obviously very concerning and terrifying to get that call, but I want to commend the Stamford police department within a minute and a half they were on the scene. Within 16 minutes they determined it was a hoax," Mayor Caroline Simmons said.

The response was so fast that Stamford police ordered a lockdown of all schools as a precaution, then gave the all-clear before some schools had even been notified to take action.

A communications breakdown that officials say has been addressed, the alert process streamlined.

"The fake ones are frustrating, but when you get that call whether its on your phone or from your student that they are in lockdown, you don't have any information. That's why we want to communicate with the public as much as we can and as quick as we can," chief Tim Shaw of the Stamford police department said.

In addition, Stamford's mayor announced the immediate allocation of $400,000 for security upgrades including card readers which will be installed to limit building access.

"Staff come in from various points, so we have to bring that down to a small number of entry points, and then we can control the rest of the building. If you go to a building like Westhill high school, you're looking at 36 doors," school safety director Joseph Kennedy said.

Stamford Public Schools will now conduct additional active shooter trainings in partnership with the Stamford Police Department. Training will also be coordinated with early childhood centers and private schools.

"It is our number one focus to make sure our staff feel safe in school and our students, which means our families feel safe sending their children to school," school superintendent Tamu Lucero said.

A key reason why the district approved the $400,000 was to harden entrances and purchase radios, upgrades that could help in the event of a real emergency.

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