ENFIELD, Conn. (WTNH)-- Enfield has taken some big steps in school security. They will now have 18 armed guards patrolling their schools.
Wednesday night, those guards met some kids and their parents.
"When Sandy Hook happened, I was sad and at least for a few days, I was scared of what was going to happen," said Trevor Dupuis, 7th grader.
Trevor is glad Enfield is hiring 18 new school security officers. They were on hand Wednesday night at the high school so parents and students could meet them before school starts next Tuesday.
"Many of them worked in detective programs investigating crimes against children, others started DARE programs or gang units in their towns, so they spent 20, 25, 30 years in some cases," said Chief Carl Sferrazza, Enfield Police Department.
The chief says by the state law, they all have to be retired law enforcement, so he takes personal offense when parents call these men and women rent-a-cops.
"That's offensive, like I said, if you were to add up all of their law enforcement experience that is 460 years collectively," said Sferrazza.
Just to give you an idea between the two, an Enfield police officer is in full uniform with a gun, tazer, handcuffs, all of the crime fighting tools. The security officers will be wearing khaki and identifiable polo shirts. They will only have a gun on their hip. They will not have arrest power but they will have a radio to be able to call police at a moment's notice.
"All we are going to do is, if there is a threat, is to stop it or slow down that threat until the real heroes, the police officer in the cruisers, get here to help us resolve it," said Cliff Leonard, security officer.
Cliff Leonard is the retired deputy chief of East Hartford. His resume includes helping to start the gang unit and community policing program in East Hartford.
Many parents showed up Wednesday night to meet their new security officers and love the program.
"There are cops at the high school, at the junior high schools. My daughter is at the elementary schools and there is no one there to protect her," said Stacey Volk, Enfield parent.
But there are many others who say guns, even in the right hands, are not the answer. Some families, like Town Councilman Tom Arnone, are split.
"So it has been a really difficult decision. My wife is actually against it also, and I did vote for this on the recommendation of our Chief and Safety Committee," said Arnone.
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