WESTPORT, Conn. – The search for a consulting firm to analyze school security in Westport has begun, Superintendent Elliott Landon announced at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.
“We are talking only with firms that are globally recognized for their work with the military, universities, schools and other governmental agencies, and that have a history of being able to provide security that is incredibly protective of those who they have been hired to serve,” Landon said.
The consulting firm will conduct a comprehensive security audit that analyzes measures in place at all eight of the town’s schools. Once the audit begins, the district will receive a report within 30 days, Board of Education Chairwoman Elaine Whitney said. The report will include recommendations on ways to enhance school security.
The Board of Finance last Wednesday approved the school board’s request for $50,000 to fund a security audit. The request must be approved by the Representative Town Meeting, the town’s legislative body. However, Whitney said she was informed by RTM Moderator Hadley Rose that, due to time restraints, the RTM will not be able to approve the request at Tuesday night's meeting. The board would have to wait until at least Feb. 5 for approval, she added.
After the mass shooting at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, Whitney said assessing school security is a top priority. As such, the board didn't want to wait to get started, she said.
When the audit is complete, the board will seek reimbursement from the RTM, Whitney said.