Connecticut Police Chiefs: Newtown Police Responded "Without Delay"

Dec 20, 2013

Scott Jackson, Mayor of Hamden, is chair of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Credit CT-N

The commission created by Governor Malloy in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Newtown met on Friday. The meeting focused on law enforcement's response to the massacre.

Back in August, Newtown police chief Michael Kehoe requested that the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association conduct a peer review of the Newtown Police Department's response to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Using 911 calls, radio transmissions that morning between officers and supervisors, and in-car audio and video recordings, the review concluded that Newtown police officers reacted quickly and appropriately once the first 911 call came in.

Read the CPCA's full report here.

"Records indicate that the first officer arrived at the school 2 minutes an 41 seconds after the initial dispatch," said Matthew Reed, the Police Chief of South Windsor, and a member of the Police Chiefs Association. "Twenty seconds later, at least two additional Newtown officers arrived at the scene."

Chief Reed said that's well within the proper time frame for a priority one emergency response, and contradicts erroneous stories from earlier this year that it took a full 20 minutes for Newtown police to dispatch to Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The report suggests that officers could have entered the building sooner, but focused instead on a suspect walking along the side of the building. That suspect turned out to be a parent. According to the report, the first police officer entered the building five minutes and 57 seconds after the first officer arrived on the scene.

Reed said the quick response prevented further carnage.  "It is our belief," he said, "that the immediate arrival of police was recognized by the shooter, and ultimately hastened the shooters decision to take his own life."

The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is charged by Governor Dannel Malloy to come up with recommendations to improve school safety, mental health services, and gun violence prevention. The commission hopes to submit a semi-final report to Malloy by mid-March.

Watch CT-N's footage of the full meeting: