How school resource officers, campus security officers play vital roles in school safety

New London

EAST LYME, Conn. (WTNH) — It didn’t take long for campus security officers in East Lyme to spot the News 8 car outside the Lillie B. Haynes School and come over to investigate Tuesday. They wanted to make sure there wasn’t any trouble nearby that could affect the school.

“They provide an outstanding service to the school,” East Lyme Police Chief Michael Finkelstein said. “They’re part of the school system. They’re liaisons with our officers.”

Finkelstein said his school resource officer works closely with the campus security team which has officers at each elementary school, two at the middle school, and three at the high school.

“They’re there for individuals to come to if there’s a problem, or if they see something that’s going on, as well as our resource officer,” Finkelstein said.

That resource officer, who is a member of the East Lyme Police Department, can also provide a link between what happens on nights and weekends in the community to what may happen at school.

“If there is a deficit where information is not getting back and forth that’s when you really start to have issues and problems,” the police chief said.

Norwich Free Academy, which went into lockdown Monday, also has a campus safety team that works with city police when needed. 

Armed or not, officers on school campuses are often key to getting help if there is a shooting like the most recent one in Michigan.

“We’re one of the first areas that as a region at our recertification training does active shooter training,” Finkelstein said.

The officers from towns in southeastern Connecticut train together because they will most likely be responding together if there is a major emergency.

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