NORTH BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH)-- The Sandy Hook tragedy rocked the nation and has school districts everywhere scrambling to beef up security. And the debate over armed guards at schools just got a bit more complicated in North Branford.
Students are starting the school year with extra security, new guards, and by next week, each will be armed.
Seven armed guards costs $100,000.
"I actually think it's a great idea. My nieces are in the schools and I know it makes them feel safe," said Ann Marie Marteorella, North Branford.
The town of North Branford decided to have armed guards in direct response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown where 20 first graders and six adult educators were killed.
Now seven guards with guns will be in the towns elementary, middle, and high school at a cost of $100,000 a year.
"These guys aren't going to be just guards, they are going to be part of the community," said Mayor Anthony Candelora, (R) North Branford.
They are all retired police officers so they know what they are doing. They are not somebody just taken off the street, that's the thing which I think is good," said Martin Forbes, North Branford.
Initially the school bought guns for the guards but there were concerns it would be considered a straw purchase. Now each guard will buy his or her weapon and get a $500 stipend from the school
"They will not be stored at the school, the gun can be stored at the police station," said Candelora.
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