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    Posted May 14, 2013 by
    Hamden, Connecticut
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Student voices in journalism

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    ‘Sandy Hook Advisory Commission’ makes school safety recommendations


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Long time iReporter marcusharun spoke with Hamden, Connecticut, Mayor Scott Jackson who also serves as chairman for the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission. He has followed the progress of the commission since Governor Malloy created the panel. Through his interview with Chairman Jackson, he learned that the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission has looked at numerous safety precaution plans all while trying to find additional monies in the budget to implement safety procedures.

    'Chairman Scott Jackson has two young children, and it is obvious that he has taken this job very seriously and personally,' he says. 'Even though this tragedy happened in Connecticut, the whole world has watched the story unfold. I know that everyone wants to make sure this never happens again, and that is the mission of this commission.'
    - Jamescia, CNN iReport producer

    Connecticut schools may get security upgrades as a result of the recommendations from Gov. Dannel Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
    The commission, which was formed to find ways to prevent mass shootings, released their interim report on Monday.
    “It is our intention to provide a roadmap to making our schools and public facilities safer,” said commission chairman, Mayor Scott Jackson of Hamden. “That is all we’re doing.”
    The commission suggests increasing cell phone and wireless internet signals at schools for cameras to provide emergency officials with information.
    The report recommends that schools create emergency response plans to decide best practices in an emergency.
    “I very much like the idea of an assessment for each school on safety and the safety components within each school,” said Frances Rabinowitz, superintendent of Hamden Public Schools.
    Hamden schools already have some of the recommendations in place. The exterior doors are locked at all times and visitors need to be let in by a staff member.
    The other main section of the report focuses on gun violence. The commission suggests a more in depth look at the gun issue.
    “There is actually, for lack of a better word, a federal ban on research into gun violence and utilizing any of those statistics, the same way we utilize statistics in car crashes to make cars safer,” Jackson said.
    Partnering with universities to create a Connecticut-based institute to study gun violence is the commission’s top recommendation, Jackson said.
    Although state legislators may begin acting on the report’s recommendations as soon as next month, Jackson said the commission’s job is only about 25 percent complete.
    The commission will begin to look at the topic of mental health issues beginning Friday.
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