School safety talks to continue

City officials will also reach out to school leaders on budget issues
By Daniel Dunkle | Feb 05, 2013
Will Clayton

Rockland — Mayor Will Clayton said he hopes to hold more meetings with school officials in coming weeks to continue discussions about school safety and to talk about budget issues facing both towns and schools.

A number of local public officials met behind closed doors Jan. 30 to talk about school safety in the wake of recent shooting violence in other parts of the country. Those attending included Maine State Police, The Knox County Sheriff's Office, Knox County Emergency Management Agency, Knox County Commission, dispatch officials, representatives from Rockland, Thomaston, South Thomaston, Cushing, St. George, Owls Head, first responders, Regional School Unit 13 school board members and representatives from the school superintendent's office.

"The reason this meeting was not open to the public was because of the sensitive information discussed about the response plans in place and what each entity is tasked with," Clayton said in an email after the meeting. "The meeting was the best chance we had to assess what we have in place, ensure we are doing all that we can to find ways to increase security and promote open discussion between our communities on how we can all help each other. The interaction and discussion was open, poignant and eye-opening."

He said officials will hold a meeting open to the residents of the local communities in February.

"We will look to solicit their advice, concerns and any hesitations as we move toward increasing the safety of our most valuable and vulnerable — our children," Clayton wrote.

He said he also hopes to meet with the school superintendent to talk about budgets as the city gears up for its budget talks. Issues including potential state cuts to education and revenue sharing programs are among the topics for this meeting, he said.

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