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New Canaan To Train For ShootIng Incident At Saxe School

New Canaan Police will be taking part in several drills on Aug. 8 at Saxe Middle School to prepare for active shooter situations.
New Canaan Police will be taking part in several drills on Aug. 8 at Saxe Middle School to prepare for active shooter situations. Photo Credit: Anthony Buzzeo

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — The town of New Canaan will be conducting an active-shooter drill next week at Saxe Middle School.

The drill will begin at 8 a.m. on Aug. 8 and a number of different scenarios will be run through during the half-day event. Throughout the day people should expect to hear activity and see SWAT vehicles and teams, Michael Handler, director of the Office of Emergency Management said.

The town is running the drills because it recently updated its security manuals and wanted to take practice and amend its new policies as needed. Handler said it is typical training the town goes through every couple of years, and while he is sensitive to the fact that Newtown just experienced a real crisis situation it is not the reason for the drill. 

“We did it before Newtown and we will probably be doing it long after,” Handler said adding that about five or six years ago a similar test day was held at New Canaan High School.

Police Chief Leon Krowlikowksi added that just because it will take place at Saxe doesn't mean the training would solely be used for a school, but for office buildings or other places where there are large amounts of people as well.

In addition to running through crisis situations there will also be new technology tested to see if it is something the town wants to purchase, Handler said. He added that normally the companies don’t let the towns demonstrate new items before purchase.

The town’s Police Department will be working with school officials and employees, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the town’s Fire Department, emergency medical services, the Community Emergency Response Team, state police, and other organizations during the drill. Mutual aid will not be called for the drills, though Krowlikowski said in an actual incident there would be hundreds of people on scene.

The drills will only be done at Saxe and no streets will be closed during the day, Handler said.

There will be a townwide email sent out to remind residents the night before the actual event, Handler said. He added that they are doing that so people do not get worried, and that it is not an invitation to come to the drill.

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