Ridgefield School District hires private, armed securityon January 18, 2013 @ 1:54 pm (Updated: 2:58 pm - 1/18/13 )
School district leaders decided to hire two guards following the mass killings at a school in Connecticut. A letter went out to parents last week, explaining that hiring the two guards is not because of any immediate threat to Ridgefield schools.
District spokesman Eric Jacobson says the private guards, from Phoenix Protective Corporation, are well trained in the use of firearms.
"They have to be approved by the state legislature in order to carry," said Jacobson. "These are people who have experienced significant background checks before they are allowed to walk on our school grounds."
The two uniformed security guards began patrolling the high school, middle school and two elementary campuses this week and will continue through the end of the school year.
They also carry Tasers and Jacobson says the district will consider having the guards carry just those non-lethal weapons.
Jacobson says the private security guards are able to help with security in a way that police officers cannot. For example, they can search lockers.
"Law enforcement officers and safety resource officers can't help with that unless there's probable cause," explained Jacobson. "A private security firm can assist in the searching of the lockers because they're contracted employees of the school district."
The contract calls for the security guards to communicate with local police to coordinate emergency responses. A police officer assigned to Ridgefield Schools was eliminated in 2010 when grant funding ran out.
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