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April 21, 2019  |  

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Combined Effort Is Needed

Published April 18, 2018

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In response to the April 5 letter “Withholding Served No One” by Vincent Arpino, I would first like to thank Mr. Arpino for his input on our schools’ security issues. I welcome input from our community to help keep all residents safe.

Here are the facts. Since 2009, the East Haven High School gate that opens onto Sperry Lane (where I reside) was left unlocked on numerous occasions. I reported (as a concerned citizen) each time to the Police, Fire, and Public Works departments. In 2013, when elected to the Board of Education (BOE), I reported to Chairman John Finkle, the superintendent of schools, and the high school principal on yet more occurrences. This is well documented in the BOE minutes. When elected to the Town Council in 2017, I informed the mayor and BOE that the gate is continually left unlocked.

I have always been an advocate of school safety. Some suggestions for the BOE (that may be inexpensive): move the guard shack closer to the gate so it’s visible to the security guard; have security frequently walk the perimeter while children enter and exit the school; and research free programs offered by the State Police for security evaluation. When allocating budget dollars, the BOE should consider: camera surveillance on back gate and football field and far gate, which also exits onto Sperry Lane; doors that lock from inside the classroom; police patrols on Sperry Lane as well as grounds during high volume times; and an advertised BOE meeting with the community and Police and Fire department representatives and elected officials on a bi-monthly basis.

A combined effort is needed to give our students the best, safest learning experience. I hope to see Mr. Arpino at future BOE and Town Council meetings.

Louis G. Pacelli
East Haven

Louis G. Pacelli (D) serves on the Town Council representing the 3rd District.

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