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Teachers, town leaders attend school safety conference

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Teachers and town leaders attended a school safety conference Wednesday that focused on ways to prevent another tragedy like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in December.

"It is our intention on a state side to advice, to come up with standards, but ultimately safety is a local issue so we have to get good at working together," Gov. Dannel Malloy said.

At the Capital Region Education Council in Hartford, they're taking a look at ways to modify school buildings, which is something Malloy said districts across the state will be working on over the next few years.

Through the state's newly passed school safety bill, local cities and towns will be reimbursed for some of the modifications.

"We set aside $15 million," said Newtown First Selectwoman E. Patricia Llodra. "Five million dollars is already funded for grants on security issued, but we will also have an advisory commission that will make recommendations no later than January 1 of next year."

Types of modifications include new hi-tech security systems that can detect abnormal behavior and would alert school officials.

While there are now armed guards at Newtown schools, the town's first selectwoman said she believes making school buildings more secure is the best way to protect children.

"I'm hoping that over time we are able to pull back from armed police in our schools and in the meantime we have invested money in expertise in hardening our buildings," Llodra said.

Gatherings like the one in Hartford Wednesday, are just part of an ongoing conversation about improving school safety.

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