Board Of Ed: Police Patrols, New Roofs

A police officer will monitor the Westport schools. And he or she will do so in buildings with new roofs, and more staff.

Those were some of the decisions made at last night’s Board of Education meeting.

Brian Fullenbaum reports that the Westport Police Department plans to assign an officer to patrol outside the 7 elementary and middle schools. The officer could go inside as needed, offering a chance for students to see the police in a good positive light.

The board will vote on more specific policy regarding this topic in the near future.

The Staples High School roof replacement project will begin immediately after graduation. The total project budget is $5,577,512.

Funding of $1,519,000 was approved for the Saugatuck Elementary School roof project. It will be completed next summer.

The Board of Finance is in the process of approving soft costs, and securing funding.

Board of Ed members also saw a 5-year proposed capital forecast. Including multiple projects and other expenses, the total for the fiscal year 2021-22 was $7,243,707.

Since the spring, the Westport Public Schools have hired 4 new administrators, 39 teachers and 35 non-certified staff members. That’s up 13 teachers and 17 non-certified staff, compared to last year. Interviews were once again done live.

A heath report showed that there were 10 COVID cases last week in the Westport schools. That brings the total since the start of the school year to 34. However, there has been little to no transmission within the schools, said supervisor of health services Suzanne Levasseur.

A new roof is coming soon for Kings HIghway Elementary School,


5 responses to “Board Of Ed: Police Patrols, New Roofs

  1. Police officers should not be in schools, period. Studies have proven again and again that policing children does not make schools safer, and in fact typically worsens educational outcomes for children. And does anyone else find it weird that the purpose of this is to indoctrinate children to view “police officers in a good and positive light”? Sounds like propagandizing to me, and is particularly disturbing in light of the events of the last two years.

    If the police department has an extra officer or two with free time to sit in their cars at elementary schools, then they should assign that officer to perform traffic enforcement (which they do almost none of currently). Safer streets would protect many more children than “patrolling” school parking lots will. But what I suspect is that this is makework used to boost hours and therefore justify continuing to routinely pay police officers nearly $100,000 a year in overtime in a town that sees next to no violent crime or very little property crime. (Many of Westport’s police officers take home nearly $300k a year, well over the town’s median salary, before they retire with a full pension at 55.) Really pretty absurd all around.

    Now look – I’ve found at least one issue where progressives and fiscal conservatives can agree!

    • Except nobody agrees with you because everything you said is proved wrong with a simple google search. The highest earning officer made around $270,000 with overtime on a $92,000 base pay. It’s fairly easy to figure out that’s with thousands of hours of overtime. Most barely crack 100k and if you ask me that’s too little to do this job in this day and age. Theres clearly no plan to “indoctrinate” the kids. You just proved it yourself by saying it’s pretty disturbing in light of the events of the last few years. You’re taking a few officers from a handful of high profile incidents and using it to paint the entire profession in broad strokes. A profession with 650,000+ officers who make millions of contacts a day all with peaceful outcomes. Also, try driving down the post road in the morning. You will constantly see the police making car stops. People like you who make uneducated accusations are exactly why kids should have positive contacts with police while they’re young.

  2. Please cite your sources. The retirement age is not 55, no one makes over $100,000 on town funded OT, lastly, none of the officers come anywhere near $300,000. This info is publicly posted on a yearly top earner list.

    Maybe your facts of “poor student outcomes” needs to be cited as well. Care to share?

    Your baseless slander is not constructive to the argument you’re trying to make.

  3. Wow, talk about misinformed. Not sure you can get more wrong than that diatribe. Perhaps you were not involved in the School Resource Officer debate a few years ago that resulted in the successful program being implemented in Staples High School and the excellent response from all involved in the “test” including, most notably, the students. As part of that research the school board, police and educator representatives visited and met with all the surrounding communities that have long standing SRO programs (and all do). There was not one negative comment. These SROs are hand picked and trained specifically for the position. I am only sorry this new initiative is not actually placing SROs in the remaining schools, just outside on patrol. SRO programs have been proven, beyond any doubt, to be a positive influence on kids as well as provide security and early intervention towards preventing behavioral problems from rising to potential violence. Early intervention is painfully important in middle school as that is where initial drug use, alcohol and behavioral issues take hold….yes, middle school, not high school, open your eyes. Just before the SRO program was adopted we had a lockdown at Staples. After that my daughter, who was no wimp by any means, would ask us not to sit near a window in our doctor’s office for fear something would happen. What’s the chances of doing your best work in school with that kind of stress hanging over your head? That’s trauma that doesn’t go away, however she was so grateful and relieved to have the SRO put in place just after that time….and so was I. I’d suggest you keep your eyes open for another Citizens Police Academy class if the dept. offers it. It will open your eyes, give you facts and you’ll come away with an appreciation for our PD. We are blessed with the folks we have protecting us. For now please get your facts straight before throwing around baseless claims. I know that’s the standard these days but that doesn’t make it right, nor productive.

  4. On a slightly different topic but also important. I hope that the school roof replacement includes solar. GFA has had solar for many years now and our public school management should look to them for information.

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