On Wednesday afternoon, representatives from all Greenwich private schools received portable police radios for use in situations requiring immediate access to Greenwich Police.
With about 25% of Greenwich children attending private school, the radios serve to match what Greenwich Public Schools already have in place.
Lt. Gray said the school district radio system is already maintained by the Town. “Now we’ve provided the other schools with radios so they can speak directly to the dispatcher center. In the event of an emergency, whether it is weather-related, or otherwise, they can contact the police department directly,” he said.
The radios have access to the emergency radio band in town, which officers hear in their police cars. The result is the private schools are now able to communicate with boots on the ground, people who are already familiar with the school and its campus.
Not only can the private schools now communicate with the Greenwich Police dispatch center without interference, but, Lt. Gray explained, they have a “talk group” that allows all the private schools to communicate together in real time.
And although the radios don’t take the place of dialing 911 in an emergency, the police radio frequency has advantages.
“They can communicate quickly among themselves as well as directly to police headquarters,” Lt. Gray said. For example, if one school sees a suspicious car, they can alert each other as well as Greenwich Police headquarters.
And while Greenwich Public Schools have School Resource Officers, such as Officer Carlos Franco at Greenwich High School, the private schools have police officers assigned as liaisons. At each school, if they need a mediation or police advice they have a known contact who provides a familiar face.