, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 12, 2013

Chief aims to restore school officer

Proposal in response to Newtown, other tragedies


Mulligan said he feels strongly that renewing the position will give parents, students and educators an additional measure of safety.

Georgetown schools are physically secure, with locked entrances and cameras on every door, Mulligan said. Admittance to schools only comes after buzzers at the doors are pushed and staff can check out the person seeking entry, he said.

Should police be called to the schools in an emergency, Mulligan said every officer on duty would respond, with an expected arrival time from the station of 1.5 to 2.5 minutes. But, he added, given that duty officers could be engaged in other emergency calls, having a school liaison officer dedicated to handling the schools exclusively would provide better coverage. Not having one leaves a gap, he said.

“I feel that this is a hole that should be plugged,” Mulligan said.

Officers trained to work in schools with children fill another important role, Mulligan said. They can be helpful in detecting problems before they happen, which he said has occurred many times throughout the nation. Students hearing of someone planning a violent act have been known to reach out to school officers they have come to trust, he said, in some cases saving lives as a result.

Mulligan said if selectmen back his proposal, he will then ask the Finance Advisory Committee for a transfer from the town’s free cash account into the Police Department budget to pay for the liaison officer position from February to the end of school in June.

“If I have the selectmen’s support on this, I’ll calculate the cost and go forward with the Finance Committee,” Mulligan said. “If not, I’ll drop it.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Special Features