‘The Security Measures in Place Work’: Superintendent Addresses Unusual Incident at New Canaan High School

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.”

5 thoughts on “‘The Security Measures in Place Work’: Superintendent Addresses Unusual Incident at New Canaan High School

  1. I am a little confused. The first headline says that he entered the school but, in this article, Luizzi states that he never entered the school unattended. Can that be clarified please?

    • Thanks Michelle. I reached out to the schools after we got the first police report and got additional information from them. Yes, he tried to enter the school through an exterior door at the cafeteria, and that door was locked as it is designed to be. That’s where he was confronted by the SRO and, once inside, he gave the story about being a teenager and student.

  2. My question is why walk a stranger down to the front office. Why not question and apprehend the individual outside of the school where he was initially spotted?

  3. Kim raises a good point. In this day of suicide bombers, even if the school resource officer had given the stranger a thorough pat down, why not walk him around the building to the squad car, or put him in anther officer’s squad car brought to the back of the building where he was apprehended, with the further interview and investigation being conducted at the police station — or at least away from the school.

    From what my daughter, an NCHS graduate, tells me me based on what’s all over social media, she went to school with this young man and he is probably much more troubled than dangerous. But the emphasis has to be on safety. If a “suspect” is physically not in the school he or she is potentially less harmful to anyone who is. The NCPD is an excellent and professional force, focused on continual improvement, and should consider updating it’s SRO procedures to reflect this perspective.

  4. Kim Norton and George Wright both raised valid points. The officer should have dealt with him outside the building.

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