On Tuesday, legislative leaders staged a news conference at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford to announce the formation of a special bipartisan committee to examine gun violence in an effort to "keep children safe" in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
State Rep. Timothy Ackert, R-8th District, has been selected to serve on the newly implemented special bi-partisan task force formed on gun violence prevention & children's safety. The district includes parts of Vernon and Tolland.
Ackert said the task force has been broken down into three working groups that will deal with issues regarding gun control, mental health, and school security. Ackert, who serves as ranking member of the Education Committee, has been selected to serve on the school security group.
The coalition's first organizational meeting took place on Friday in the Legislative Office Building.
After the meeting, Ackert said he was eager to begin working with his colleagues to create new school security measures as quickly as possible.
"After the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary, we have a responsibility to the people of Connecticut to create enhanced school safety legislation with a certain sense of urgency," Ackert said. "The goal of our group will be to create measures that will improve the security operations and infrastructures we have in our schools so tragedies like the one in Sandy Hook, or any other incident, can and will be prevented in the future."
So far, Tolland is trying to set aside $54,000 for school security measures, paid for from various capital projects. A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at the 7:30 p.m. Town Council meeting.
Vernon has included an additional security guard at Rockville High School - a $22,000 item - to the 2013-14 budget proposal and police and school officials are touring all school facilities in an effort to assess added security needs. The recommendations will be discussed as a single capital outlay item.
Ackert urged all of his constituents to contact him for any questions or input on the issue.
"All of the work I do in Hartford is based on the ideas, thoughts and views I gather from the people I serve in the 8th district," said Ackert. "If you have any questions or ideas you would like to share, please do not hesitate to contact me at my office."
Ackert can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com, or by phone at 860-240-8700.