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Maturo: East Haven Creates Student Liason Police Officer Program

Under the new program — part of the town's revised school safety initiative expected to be rolled out next month — East Haven Police officers will make regular stops at the schools during their normal patrols about town.

The following is a press release from the East Haven Mayor's Office.

Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. announced today that the Town of East Haven is beginning a new police program called the “School Liaison Officer Program” in which specific officers will be assigned to local neighborhood schools and be responsible for making periodic appearances at schools during normal patrols.

Maturo explained, “This new program serves several important goals.  First, it enhances school security by making our schools regular patrol points for officers.  Second, it will help open up a dialogue among officers, school administrators, teachers, and students about general Town education issues.  Third, and most importantly, it will provide students with another trustworthy resource from which they can regularly seek guidance.”

Maturo continued, “Chief Larrabee has indicated that while East Haven has many defined neighborhoods, they unfortunately don’t lend themselves to traditional neighborhood and community policing.  However, the new School Liaison program will utilize the Town’s neighborhood schools to implement more effective community policing and build a stronger relationship among the Town’s schools, neighborhoods, and officers.”

Under the program, officers will be required to make periodic and regular appearances at their selected schools during the course of their normal patrols.  Each officer will be responsible for incidents which occur at their selected schools while on duty.  If incidents occur when a school liaison officer is off duty, the officer will be briefed.  For record-keeping purposes, a case number will be created for each school visit and classified under “extra patrols.”

Chief Larrabee indicates that he expects the program will make officers aware of incidents which occur not only in school, but out of school as well.  Larrabee explained, “So often, students don’t know where to turn for help.  As students develop relationships with their school officers, we expect officers will become aware of out-of-school issues as well.  School Liaison officers will also be responsible for appropriately addressing and reporting these issues.”

The new School Liaison Officer Program is being rolled out ahead of a broader revision to the Town’s general school safety program next month.  Maturo explained, “Like many towns, in the wake of the Newton tragedy, East Haven has revisited its school safety policies.  The Town will be announcing those revisions in the upcoming weeks.  However, I expect the School Liaison program to be an integral part of the Town’s revised school safety policy moving forward.”

According to the Town, the School Liaison program was implemented on a voluntary basis, allowing officers to choose amongst the schools they will visit.  Pathways will be visited by Officer Dave Olson, Deer Run and Ferrara Schools will be visited by Officer Justin Brochu, East Haven High School will be visited by Officer Shawn Hatchel, East Haven Middle School will be visited by Officer Shirley Conyers, Tuttle School will be visited by Officer Joseph Finoia, and Momauguin School will be visited by Officer Dave Torello.

Maturo concluded, “This new program is a tremendous new resource for our students, teachers, and school administrators.  While it will undoubtedly raise the level of security in our schools, it will also serve the critical purpose of opening up a meaningful dialogue among residents of all ages and the police department.”  

Will February 27, 2013 at 08:31 PM
What's East Haven Middle School?
Maryann Dunn Reid February 27, 2013 at 08:33 PM
What about East Haven Academy? That school is not even mentioned.
Anne February 27, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Aren't they included in the "middle school" complex? They don't need a separate officer...it's one building.
Maryann Dunn Reid February 27, 2013 at 10:42 PM
I don't expect this school would have a separate officer and I am not asking for a separate one. It would make sense that it would be the same officer but it should not be assumed. EHA is a separate school with it's own school administration and student body as well as having different start and dismissal times from the middle school. It should have been mentioned. Every other school was.
Just askin February 28, 2013 at 03:21 AM
What about D.C. Moore & St. Vincent's?
Just askin February 28, 2013 at 03:30 AM
I forgot Overbrook too!
Lou February 28, 2013 at 05:43 AM
Why isn't there going to be an officer there all the time? What good is a periodic drop in? Why bother?
Angels Among Us February 28, 2013 at 06:42 AM
What a great idea... proactive thinking. Kudo's to the ones who thought this through.
Anne February 28, 2013 at 11:58 AM
Again, it's ONE building--one complex. I think you're just another Academy parent thinking they are above all others....regardless of the separate administration it is ONE school building in ONE location.
Joey February 28, 2013 at 12:19 PM
We couldn't afford a full time officer for 10 schools, you're talking well over $1 million ayear and an increase of you're taxes.. This plan is better then nothing and better then what we had. What happened in Newtown is horrific and heartbreaking but it was one school out of millions across the country. All the security in the world won't stop someone on a mission, just look what happened the other night with those 2 precious babies killed by their grandmother. Just like terrorism we can't live in fear, we just have to live our lives and hope someone is looking over us
Carl Perez February 28, 2013 at 12:27 PM
Good work Chief Larabee !!!
Ginger DeMatteo February 28, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Anne, it is ONE COMPLEX, but TWO SEPERATE buildings, and TWO SEPERATE SCHOOLS with TWO SEPERATE entrances. Obviously, we would not require nor need a seperate officer, but it would be nice if The Academy was mentioned. The STUDENTS need to know they were not forgotten. After all, this is about the STUDENTS not petty adult comments. And by the way, I AM NOT an Academy parent.
Rosie February 28, 2013 at 01:25 PM
EHA is in the JMMS complex, but a very seperate school in terms of different arrival and dismissal, different buses, different staff, students administration and most importantly, different entrances. One officer would certainly suffice, but it would have been nice if it was mentioned, for the sake of the students. And for the record Anne, jealousy is really not very becoming :)
susan February 28, 2013 at 01:49 PM
just one officer for the entire jmms/eha complex? just one officer for the entire ehhs? just periodic patrol stops? the same way they make periodic patrol stops in our neighborhoods......not.
Anne February 28, 2013 at 01:49 PM
Come on...it's ONE BLDG....it is all connected......every school (or bldg) has multiple and SEPARATE entrances.....it's symantics.
Ginger DeMatteo February 28, 2013 at 02:34 PM
And once again, for the final time, and I will try to make this as simple as possible so perhaps you can understand this time, it would have been nice if the Academy was mentioned, for the students and parents piece of mind. No one is asking for a seperate officer, but it would be nice to know that we are sharing an officer. It may be one complex, but again, two seperate schools. Have a fabulous day!
Paul Carbo February 28, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Damn you if you do and damn you if you do nothing. It's a start folks!!
Ann February 28, 2013 at 02:43 PM
This is an excellent step in the right direction. However, I often wonder why it is important to have police officers at concerts on the green, high school sporting events, and roadwork to list a few things but not so important to have police officers where hundreds of our precious children gather daily??
Lou February 28, 2013 at 03:00 PM
I'll gladly pay more taxes to keep my kids safe.
Richard Poulton February 28, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Yes Ann, it is a step forward. But the answerto your questions is very simple. Traffic control.. Can you imagine what would happen around the green during an event. Traffic control, there would be none. Sporting event same reason, besides the other "things" that you just know happen at such. Roadwork is a private hire between the company and the officer. State requires some sort of "flagman" at a road opening. Liability issues. But Mr. Carbo said it best.
Rosie February 28, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Any adult who doesn't feel that every single child's life has value, no matter what SCHOOL they attend, really isn't worth an ounce of respect or any further response. Sickening...
Lise Cavallaro February 28, 2013 at 03:48 PM
I agree with Paul and Ann. I think it is an excellent start. There's really no need for petty comments. If anyone has a question regarding offices and schools, one building or two, wouldn't it make sense to call the mayor's office or police dept. for clarification?
Kim Lendroth February 28, 2013 at 04:44 PM
It is a new program. Lets give it a chance before we complain. However, each individual school deserves their own officer.
Ginger DeMatteo February 28, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Has been done and happy to report that Officer Conyers will be patrolling East Haven Academy as well. Thank you EHPD.
ChristinaR February 28, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Great start, but where's Overbrook? It is not mentioned.
Joey February 28, 2013 at 09:01 PM
I'll assume that the same officer doing Tuttle will do overbrook and the same officer doing momauguin is doing D.C. Moore. I have children in the school system in different grades and schools, would I be more comfortable knowing there is a police officer at each one of their schools? Absolutely, but it's not practical. Is there a police officer on every school bus or every after school event, NO THERE IS NOT!! So if you want to make sure your kids are safe then home school them, assuming you have a police officer at your house all the time. I'm not saying school safety isn't important but we leave in a world where horrible things happen all the time and no matter how we try we can't stop it, I don't want my kids to go to school in a prison.
DonnaR March 01, 2013 at 07:32 PM
And someone needs to look into what drugs she was taking. Can noone see the connection between the prescribed psycotic drugs and this type of violence. How many more before we ban the use of these drugs.
Ann March 01, 2013 at 09:16 PM
I dropped my daughter at school this morning and there was an officer there to greet her at the door. It was very comforting to me and I strongly believe there should be an officer at each school all day. Teachers are there to teach, not babysit, micro-manage, and curb bad behavior. With an officer in the building, bad behavior and violence will be discouraged, teachers can teach, and parents can work knowing their children are being kept as safe as possible. It saddens me that our children's safety has a dollar sign on it.
David C. Couper March 02, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Learn more about neighborhood policing and why it works: Follow my blog http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com and take a look at my new book on how to improve our nation's police.

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