Rockland mayor evaluates school safety

7:43 PM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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Rockland Mayor Will Clayton talks with NEWS CENTER's Don Carrigan about school safety and emergency preparedness.

ROCKLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The mayor of Rockland wants to make sure local schools are safe. So he's called a meeting for tomorrow with police and school officials from across the school district.

Mayor Will Clayton called for the meeting shortly after the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting last month. Clayton says he believes the schools in Rockland and all of RSU 13 are safe, but says he wants to be sure the city, the police and everyone else are prepared in case there is a problem.

Local school officials say they were already taking safety very seriously, but have taken extra steps since the Newtown tragedy.

In Rockland, for example, there is a daily police presence at Oceanside Higth School's East Campus. Principal Tom Forti says the police are in the parking lot at the beginning and end of school, and a uniformed officer often stops by and walks through the school during the day.

RSU 13 superintendent Lew Collins says thel district has already put in new policies on access to schools - just one door in and out for everyone, except emergencies. And Superintendent Collins says they're looking at other school access issues, from changing keys and locks to other methods for controlling who can get into the buildings.

The meeting with the mayor, the schools and police is Wednesday afternoon. But the meeting is not open to the public. Mayor Clayton says they want to talk about specific police and emergency procedures, and want to keep those details quiet. He says a public meeting will be held at another date.


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