Gov. Malloy Hosts School Security Roundtable, Highlights Connecticut’s Progress, Calls on Additional Funding for Safety Upgrades
(EAST HARTFORD, CT) – At a roundtable discussion on school security this morning, Governor Dannel P. Malloy highlighted the important steps Connecticut has taken to reduce gun violence and improve safety at schools over the past five years. Joined by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell, Emergency Management and Public Protection Services Commissioner Dora Schriro, members of the East Hartford delegation, local educators, law enforcement officials, and parents, the Governor pointed to Connecticut’s bipartisan legislation in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook as a national model for states currently grappling with gun safety legislation.
“As a state, school safety – and gun safety – has been our top priority over the past five years, and we have seen real and tangible results,” Governor Malloy said. “The bipartisan package of reforms we passed in 2013 are some of the strongest in the nation, and as a result our schools and our communities are safer. As Congress and other states grapple with this issue in the aftermath of yet another tragedy, I truly believe that Connecticut’s legislation should serve as a model for what can be done to keep our kids safe. As such, I am reaching out to my colleagues across the country to offer guidance, support, and lessons learned.”
"Connecticut is proof that common sense gun safety laws and school safety measures save lives,” Senator Blumenthal said. “The nation can build on the Connecticut model- a ban on deadly assault weapons, investments in school security that respect local priorities, and measures to keep guns out of the hands of individuals who are a danger to themselves and others. We need more Connecticut common sense, not hare-brained pandering to the gun lobby. The vast majority of the American people demand reform and now is the time for Congress to act.”
Connecticut’s commonsense 2013 legislation banned the sale high-capacity magazines, dramatically increased the state’s assault weapons ban, made it more difficult for people facing metal health crises from obtaining a deadly weapon, and invested in security upgrades to schools– to date, state and local governments have invested a total of $53 million for security upgrades at 1,200 Connecticut schools.
The Governor is also calling for an additional investment in school security upgrades.
“There is no more important function of our government than keeping kids safe, and I look forward to working with the legislature toward making sure we do everything in our power to ensure that every child can access a safe, secure, welcoming learning experience – no matter their zip code,” the Governor continued.
“Public Safety and Public Education are two top responsibilities of government and increasingly, they are intertwined. School safety is as integral to a positive learning environment as it is key to the safety and security of our children and their teachers," Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro said. "Governor Malloy’s investments in school safety have strengthened school security across the state and is a model for other jurisdictions to follow."
“While our schools should be as safe and secure as possible they should also not resemble fortresses,” State Department of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell said. “In East Hartford we have seen firsthand how the Governor’s investments in school security are being put to use and achieving that important balance between ensuring student and staff safety and still maintaining a positive, welcoming and nurturing educational environment.”
In Connecticut, crime is at a 50-year low, and reduced violent crime has been reduced by more than any other state over the last four years.