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Police and school leaders work together to make schools safer across the state

The goal is to highlight security and also understand how different mass shootings across the country impact our local students.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — School safety experts and law enforcement officials are working together to make Connecticut schools safer.

At the School Safety Symposium in New Haven, the goal is to highlight security and also understand how different mass shootings across the country impact our local students.

"No matter where a school shooting happens, it affects students all across the country because everyone lives in fear," said Peter Langman, a psychologist. 

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More than 200 law enforcement officers and school officials are making school safety a top priority.

"Our whole goal today is to raise awareness about school safety. There’s been so many tragedies in this country and unfortunately, they’re still continuing," said Joseph Dooley, a retired chief of police and Mutalink's Public Safety and Security Systems Director.  

The event at Southern Connecticut State University drew experts from all over, working together to learn ways to prevent mass shootings and utilize new technology for added layers of protection, technology like Mutualink. 

"What Mutualink does is leverages existing camera systems and radio systems and puts floor plans in so first responders have an awareness of what’s going on before they arrive," said Dooley. 

While new programs can play a role in security, Dr. Henry Lee with the University of New Haven said emergency preparedness is also key. 

"Physical safety is important but we can’t overlook the training of students, faculty and staff on how to handle an emergency," said Dr. Lee.  

A big topic of discussion was students mental health. While it's important for educators to monitor students' behavior, it's also a reminder that school violence can be prevented before it happens. 

"There are patterns we see. The more we know about the patterns the better we can identify potential perpetrators," said Langman. "If you see something, say something. Don’t keep it to yourself, pass it along."

Schools can apply for a grant from the state to help fund the cost of new technology to enhance school security. It's called the Multi-Media School Security Grant Program. 

The deadline to apply is next month. 

Lindsey Kane is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at Lkane@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram


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