Two weeks removed from a bomb squad-assisted search of a Rockville tenement after a killing spree in Wyoming, Vernon authorities on Friday fielded several calls from concerned residents over the school shooting incident in Newtown.
So Emergency Management Director Michael Purcaro was asked the question point-blank.
Are shootings the new air raids?
He flat-out said affirmative.
"From an emergency management perspective, we have to be prepared for things like this all the time," he said.
In a more focused effort, education and law enforcement officials are scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss the town's security initiatives.
Police Chief James Kenny said he wanted to assure Vernon residents - especially parents - that authorities have worked at measures to respond to and even thwart any potential act of violence.
Conway said similar things.
"l would like to reassure all of our families that we do have security measures in place at all of our school buildings and safety drills are conducted monthly," Conway said in a letter to parents and guardians on Friday. "Please know that personnel in each school have the right to prohibit entry to anyone and are authorized to call police if they feel that the safety and security of the school is compromised. I will be meeting with all of the administrators and representatives from the Vernon Police Department on Monday and We will be re-examining our safety and security procedures and practices.
"I Want you and your children to know that our schools in Vernon are safe environments."
Conway reached out personally to Newtown officials. She said the safety of children is the "top priority."
Monday's meeting is private, Kenny said.
Kenny said the training efforts to deal with such situations is constant.
"We have the training to respond to active shooter situations," he said, while adding the police department is always improving its skills.
Two weeks ago, Kenny said officers always shave to expect the worst when dealing with crimes with weapons, shootings and potential shootings. That's why he asked the Hartford Bob Squad to assist detectives in searching the room a 25-year-old man rented in a Rockville tenement before killing himself and two others in Wyoming.
"Past history dictates you have to be prepared for anything," he said.
The Vernon Community Network has created a page of information about how to handle children's questions concerning the school shootings.
To access it, go to www.1Vernon.org and click on the link.
Several residents gathered in Rockville onFriday night to reflect and hold a vigil to remember the victims.