Saturday, April 1, 2023
HomeTrending News United StateCharlie Baker looks to improve school security in response to Uvalde massacre

Charlie Baker looks to improve school security in response to Uvalde massacre

Gov. Charlie Baker says his administration is taking proactive steps to ensure schools are safe from gun violence in the wake of recent school massacres.

“It’s obviously no secret that the last two years have been enormously difficult for children and parents and teachers and school staff,” Baker told reporters at the State House Thursday. “Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were already significant mental and behavioral health challenges for many of our kids who are in need of additional support and services.”

“Now we know those challenges have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis and a series of very publicized public tragedies that have taken place around the country,” he said.

Baker said that though Massachusetts has largely been spared from a rise in school gun violence otherwise seen nationally, there is more the state could be doing to keep children in schools safe from tragedies like those seen in Texas, and that his administration will respond with a supplemental budget request to spend an additional $40 million on school safety initiatives and training.

The administration is proposing matching grant funds for schools looking to invest in physical security infrastructure or communications equipment, and funding for schools to pilot anonymous “tip line” programs for reporting potential threats.

That $40 million would also pay for the establishment of a statewide “say something” public awareness campaign and the creation of a “comprehensive school safety website.”

Baker said the proposal comes “in the aftermath of Uvalde.”

“It took us a while to put together a plan on that,” he said. “I do think this is something the Legislature will be interested in and we will work very quickly to get these resources out the door.”

Baker was asked if the state had made any changes to the way police respond to active shooter scenarios since Uvalde.

The governor deferred to Jeff Farnsworth, a former police chief and the senior policy advisor to the secretary of public safety, who said that officers in Massachusetts have been trained for more than a decade to immediately engage active shooters.

“Our training begins at the entry level, when police officers first come into the academy…our officers from day one are trained in that quick response, that the days of waiting for specialized units to show up are long gone in the Commonwealth. We train on day one as a police officer on how to quickly enter and address a threat, to stop the threat, and then we build from that,” he said.

Source link



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here



Most Popular