Norwalk has 5 police and 10 school security guards

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NORWALK – Three resource officers have been added to schools across the city since the start of the school year.

Norwalk Police now have five full-time SROs stationed in the district, Deputy Chief James Walsh said. Two of the officers were already SROs and three were added for this school year.

“Additions were made due to labor availability this year,” Walsh said. “We also have five daily overtime security hires, who patrol schools, which are geographically assigned in close proximity.”

The money for security hires was unused payroll funds from last fiscal year, Walsh said.

Two of the officers are stationed full-time at public high schools in the district, Walsh said. Officer Vidal Gonez is stationed at Norwalk High School while Officer Raul Aldarondo works at Brien McMahon High School.

The officers have been with the force since 2004 and 2015, respectively, according to the ministry’s annual report.

The three remaining SROs are Cornell Abruzzini, Kimberly Prada and Christopher Holms, who have served the department since 2012, 2014 and 1997, respectively, according to the report.

“These three officers are assigned geographically to a combination of elementary and middle schools,” Walsh said.

The additional ORS are part of an effort to make schools in the district safer, especially after a series of bomb scares rocked Norwalk High School last December.

All SROs and officers patrolling school grounds are armed, NPS Safety and Security Supervisor Ryan Harold said at a school board workshop on school safety this month. -this.

In addition to the new SROs, Norwalk Schools has added a security guard to each of the district’s middle and high schools, Harold said. A floating guard has been hired to fill in for others as needed and will be stationed at needy schools when not filling in for other guards.

The security guards, however, are unarmed, Harold said.

“I can’t give enough credit to the work our security guards do on a day-to-day basis, not only keeping us safe, but also being mentors and building real relationships with our students and staff. They are an integral part of school communities,” said Harold.

In addition to the SROs, there are four security guards at each middle school and two at each high school, Harold said.

The district has a total of 10 security officers, with others assigned to other NPS-run programs.

“I was just talking to (Norwalk Police) today and the response from schools around ORS has been amazing,” Harold said. “Having that presence, building those relationships. Last year, with three, they were more in reactive roles, supporting schools on incidents, but two additional bodies allowed them to focus on preventative work. I don’t know how NPD does it, but they beat 1000 when it comes to NPS.

Each Norwalk police officer also has a master key fob for all schools in the city, so they can get in quickly when responding to incidents, Harold said.

“Schools and our students are a priority of our police department, regardless of request, timing, need or resources required, NPD has responded to every request made in the past year,” Harold said.

With the additions of the SRO and security guards, the district spent the summer adding fencing and updating security cameras at schools across the city.

Abigail Brone can be contacted at abigail.brone@hearstmédiact.com.

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