Addressing concerns following an incident this week where a 22-year-old man on New Canaan High School’s campus attempted to enter the school’s cafeteria through an exterior door, the district’s superintendent offered reassurance to parents and the wider community about the facility’s security.
New Canaan Police on Monday arrested a New Jersey man who inexplicably approached the building at an exterior door to the cafeteria around noon and then, when confronted, falsely claimed that he was a 17-year-old transfer to NCHS.
Asked about the incident, Dr. Bryan Luizzi said that New Canaan Public Schools “makes the safety of its students a priority at all times.”
“All doors at New Canaan High School are locked,” Luizzi told NewCanaanite.com. “The main entrance doors are monitored by the district’s campus monitors, as are all front doors in all the district’s schools. Visitors need to show identification, sign in and sign out, and are given a name badge to wear during their visit. Monday’s isolated incident proves that the security measures in place work in keeping our students safe.”
A policeman assigned to NCHS—School Resource Officer or ‘SRO’ Geoffrey Lambert—spotted the man and approached him at the locked door, leading to an investigation and arrest on two misdemeanor charges. The man used to attend the high school, police said.
The incident demonstrates the value of the SRO program, according to Police Chief Leon Krolikowski.
Asked about the incident from a police perspective, the chief said, “It’s good at the high school and junior high school to add an extra level of security and protection.”
“I am always taken aback when some questions why it’s important to have an officer in school. This highlights how important it is. It is likely that if he had not confronted this person, he would he have gotten away. This circumstance really shows the need to have police at the high school and Saxe like we have. I don’t know how anyone can questions the value of the program after reading a story like this.”
Luizzi also praised the SRO’s work and said school officials are “pleased to see that our security measures are helping to keep our schools safe.”
“When this individual attempted to enter the building through a locked door, the high school SRO immediately questioned him and walked him down to the main office,” Luizzi said. “At no time was this individual walking freely inside the school thanks to the security measures we have put in place at the high school and across the district, and we continue to be appreciative for the community-wide cooperation in these efforts.”