The school board is scheduled to discuss a plan that would add School Security Officers and a director of security to Darien Public Schools.
Richard Kaufman , Patch Staff
DARIEN, CT — Following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last May, school districts around the country have reexamined school security.
On Tuesday night, the Darien Board of Education is scheduled to discuss a plan that would hire six armed School Security Officers (SSO) for each of the five elementary schools in town, including a “floating SSO” who would cover absences when needed.
When there are no absences, the sixth SSO would float between Middlesex Middle School and Darien High School.
A director of security would be hired as well, who would be responsible for the management of all campus monitors, SSOs and security infrastructure.
The district would also make additional enhancements to security infrastructure, namely door security at six of seven school buildings. The total cost would be $335,000.
The latest proposal was developed in close consultation with the Darien Police Chief Donald Anderson, according to agenda documents .
DHS and MMS already have School Resource Officers (SRO), which is slightly different than an SSO.
An SRO is defined by the district as “a sworn and armed law-enforcement officer with arrest powers who works, either full or part time, in a school setting. In addition to school safety and security, school resource officers are expected to partner with the school for student education and community outreach.”
According to the proposal, an SSO is “an armed and sworn law-enforcement officer not currently active in the police department. SSOs do not have arrest powers and primarily serve as a safety and security resource for schools.”
The six SSOs would cost a total of $381,795, and the director of security would cost $118,160, according to the proposal.
The board of education has met in Executive Session to discuss the proposal since late August. Tuesday will be the first public presentation.
A timeline associated with the proposal shows that the Representative Town Meeting could vote on special operating and capital appropriations for the security program on Nov. 28. Hiring for the security positions would begin soon after.
For more information, click here to view Tuesday’s meeting materials.
Tuesday’s board of education meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., in the meeting room at Darien Public Schools’ administrative offices. The meeting will be streamed on YouTube here .
Members of the community wishing to participate in public comment may join the meeting via Zoom at this link .
Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.
The rules of replying:
- Be respectful.
- Be transparent.
- Keep it local and relevant.
- Review the Patch Community Guidelines.