Springfield schools evaluating safety procedures in wake of Newt - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield schools evaluating safety procedures in wake of Newtown shooting

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The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut has Springfield school officials rethinking their own safety procedures.

Springfield schools will not be seeing much of a difference every day. But since Friday's tragedy, officers will be making more visits to elementary schools for peace of mind.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and his security team laid out the plans already in place in city schools to help put parents at home more at ease.

"We wanted to reassure the public of the training that goes on, day in and day out working with all the entities," Sarno said.

Springfield public schools are trained for emergencies with what's known as the red book, a manual detailing plans in case of emergency and each year there are drills.

As Superintendent Daniel Warwick describes, every public school in Springfield is outfitted for the worst.

"We put over $1 million into cameras, buzzers, everything else to make our schools as safe as possible so our parents will feel comfortable sending their children to school," Warwick said.

There are already more than 20 police officers in city schools, a $1 million investment. But Police Commissioner William Fitchet said it's worth the money and now officers working in neighborhoods with elementary schools will be making checks as well.

"The team interacts with the students and is able to help the students with some personal problems too so it's not just from a law enforcement perspective," Fitchet said.

Sarno said that to be prepared for tragedies like what happened in Newtown, CT, it will take a continued city-wide effort.

"Just to think of what happened to those little ones and to the teachers, we always say it will never happen again, but we're going to have to work hard as a community for these instances not to happen again," he said.

The mayor says from here he will wait and see what comes of the Newtown investigation to find out whether there will be any state or federal grants to help prevent tragedies like this from happening again.

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