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Rivera promises faster communication in next Norwalk school emergency

NORWALK, Conn. – Superintendent Manny Rivera said Tuesday that there will be no more “fumbling around” for words when there is a serious safety concern at a Norwalk school.

Rivera made the comment in reference to the recent lockdown at Cranbury Elementary School, which prompted then-Norwalk Democratic mayoral hopeful Vinny Mangiacopra to say communications from City Hall had been inadequate.

The lockdown went into effect when a teacher reported hearing what could have been gunshots outside while school was in session. Norwalk police found nothing to indicate a gun had been fired, but the panicked parents and media surrounding the school was described as a “circus,” according to Mayor Richard Moccia.

Rivera talked about it at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.

“Fortunately there was not a real emergency, so to speak, that took place at Cranbury but it was a very good eye opener for us as far as our own procedures internally,” he said. “It caused us to look at everything from communications, what kind of communications should go out, how and when.”

Rivera said school safety plans are continuing to develop as police assess the schools. So far, 10 schools have gotten the scrutiny. Capital improvements will be made as necessary; blinds are being replaced at one school soon, and locks are being replaced at Cranbury within a few weeks, he said.

The communications improvement will take work, not money.

“We decided we have to make our internal protocols very clear and not find ourselves fumbling around with what the wording ought to be on a message that we want to send out right away,” he said. “Have all these messages pre-developed so they can be customized and they can get it out. We can keep people abreast using our software system which really is a pretty good one in the sense that it can be customized to send messages out via text, email or phone, depending on the preference of the parents.”

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3 responses to “Rivera promises faster communication in next Norwalk school emergency”

  1. Tobias

    It was a nail gun… The panic the miscommunication caused could have really created a tragedy. My daughter still is feeling scared about another Newtown happening at her school. Please look at the way these things are handled!

  2. M Allen

    What part of the panic could have created a tragedy? The parents sneaking through the woods when they couldnt get in the front? The city/BOE is going to be damned in almost either direction. Not enough info that leads parents to showing up at the scene, trying to relaease too much info when details remain unclear. In the event something actually had occurred here, at what point should the message go beyond the proper authorities? It really is a tough call. But for some, it will never be enough because their kids are involved.

  3. spanner

    Its obvious this new guy has his work cut out for him.Morris touts all kinds of figures for safe schools and arrests yet this week alone a teacher was assaulted and arrests from Briggs have yet been reported in the media .The circus Moccia refers to might be ill equiped public service depts.Medical equipment for first responders in Norwalk is a disgrace.Jump kits are dirty and old medical bags, police have limited medical equipment in the trunks and where are those defibs passed around the city anyone have any idea?(ask Rilling the story is they were ruined shortly after they were given to the police dept. left out in the cold and froze) I hope this wasn’t the case.

    Moccia has created the circus with the help of Rilling long before Rivera came I wish him luck I still have kids in Norwalk schools.The city now relies on Twitter and odd forms of private media when we as a city invested in what was suppose to be the works in providing emergency related information to our residents.Always worked for Moccia and his hot air.

    Norwalks pays its firefighters and police what has been suggested the highest in the State in return can we expect a little bit more for the coin?

    A million dollar fire boat yet no 2X2 bandages for police and fire jump kits tells us all fluff is in and grit is out.Most of this means nothing to the average taxpayer but in the last decade nothing has changed smoking mirrors work well for the politicians and dept heads.

    Maybe the last round of arrests and assaults in our school system has prompted some red herrings something the city is good at.

    This all is great news yet here on this site it was suggested open doors at schools are generally ignored by the school dept,last thing we want is people to have access to the schools overnight without any deterrent right?I asked a BOE member out here what the deal was and was ignored telling us all the information was correct and the BOE had nothing to say.Its obvious from a few weeks ago open doors at schools have not been addressed properly by the BOE just ask the police dept its the number one complaint beside Deering and its road work nonsense.

    No one was ever able to tell us was the fire dept and the school the day of the incident?You would think all of that was put in place after all the tragedy Ct has had.Why should the taxpayers all support McCarthy there was a time there was a no confidence vote by his own men.

    Maybe Mayor Moccia will take his circus and go South maybe some of his clowns will learn what a bad berring sounds like on a ride.

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