HARRISON, N.Y. – Although some parents in Harrison believe that having a police officer guard each school is not the right long-term security measure after the deadly Newtown, Conn., shootings last month, that is not how the majority feels, according to a recent online poll in The Harrison Daily Voice.
The unscientific poll found that 38 percent of respondents favor having a Harrison police officer in each school, a measure that Harrison Police Chief Anthony Marraccini opposes.
Marraccini would like the Student Resource Officer program to return to LMK Middle School and Harrison High School as a start. Resource officers are placed in the schools not to provide security but to connect with students, he said.
A final school safety plan will take time to implement, Marraccini said at the Jan. 3 Town Board meeting, citing many components in what he called a “huge task and responsibility.”
A total of 23 percent of poll respondents wanted a panic button, which a parent brought up at the Jan. 3 meeting. It is unknown whether that idea will be included in a final school safety plan.
Adding student resource officers and ‘other’ tied at third with 15 percent of the vote, while bulletproof glass and locked doors garnered 8 percent. The suggestion of an armed staff member received 0 percent of the vote.
Marraccini, who has five children in Harrison schools, has met with Mayor Ron Belmont and superintendent Lou Wool multiple times since the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting Dec. 14.
The Harrison Board of Education meets at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday at the LMK Middle School Library for the first time since the shootings. The public urged Belmont, Marraccini and members of the Town Board to attend, but it was unknown whether they will.