CHICOPEE — Concerns about safety and security at the Chicopee Public Schools were raised during the Dec. 6 School Committee meeting, however, Superintendent Dr. Marcus Ware assured that a plan on addressing these issues is in the works.

The topic — specifically metal detectors — was an agenda item requested by School Committee member Susan Szetela-Lopes.

Szetela-Lopes said for a couple years now she has been in contact with a substitute teacher who works at the high schools. She shared that the individual feels “dismayed” and does not feel “well enough protected” with the monitors and metal detectors that students pass through at the beginning of the school day.

Szetela-Lopes noted that she has also been in contact with Ware about this issue and asked him to provide an explanation.

Since the November meeting, Ware said he has been doing his homework, which has been part of his entry plan. In his entry plan, Ware started to look at all the safety and security measures that the district is taking.

As Ware joined the district on July 1, he explained that a lot of what he inherited was previously practiced.

In his findings, Ware learned that this topic came up last year but was piloted at the secondary schools. From there, he went through the materials that his predecessor had left him, as well as conducting round interviews with the principals, the union and members of the Central Office team, to get a better grasp on how this was deployed.

Now, Ware has begun working with Chicopee Public Schools Maintenance Director Scott Chapdelaine and Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services Carol Kruser to do a safety and security audit of the district.

“I know that one thing doesn’t work in isolation when it comes to safety and security and I thought it was of the utmost importance to understand how they all tie together,” Ware said.

While there has not been a plan moving forward from his predecessor, he shared that the intention is to wrap it all together once they have the audit, review it, and come to the School Committee with a plan on how to move forward.

The committee’s discussion took place a day after a fight outside of Chicopee High School led to two arrests and the recovery of a firearm.

On Dec. 5, a Police Department statement detailed an incident in front of the school at dismissal time. As the school resource officer responded, a juvenile involved in the fight ran and the officer was made aware that they may have had a firearm.

The following day, the Police Department followed up with another statement explaining that one juvenile was taken into custody immediately following a brief police chase and later that evening, detectives were able to identify and take into custody a second juvenile involved in the fight. At that time, a firearm being recovered. The Police Department noted that the arrested parties, ages 16 and 15 are not students at Chicopee High School.

The police credited the community for their cooperation during the investigation by sharing pictures and videos of the incident.

The 16-year-old was charged with disorderly conduct, residting arrest, carrying a dangerours weapon on school grounds, carrying a firearm without a license, assault and battery, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The 15-year-old was charged with possession of a firearm without an FID card, possesion of ammunition without an FID card, improper storage of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery.

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