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Malloy Waits For Sandy Hook Report, But Remains Confident Rapid Response ‘Saved Lives’

by Christine Stuart | Oct 14, 2013 12:06pm
(3) Comments | Commenting has expired

Christine Stuart photo

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy receives an award from Dr. Henry Lee and the University of New Haven President Steven Kaplan

Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III is well past the June deadline he initially set for his office to finish and release a report on the shooting of 20 first-graders, and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. That deadline was changed in August to “the fall.”

“I hope it comes today, but it’s not,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday. “I’ve been assured that they have made steady progress and that hopefully it will be released soon. It’s necessary that it be released.”

When it is released, Malloy said that he believes a report will be released and when it is, it will show that the response by police and first responders “saved lives.”

“The shooter would have continued down other classrooms, but for the ability of the police to arrive in a timely fashion,” Malloy told a group of law enforcement officials gathered Monday for the Arnold Markle Symposium at the University of New Haven.

Famed forensic scientist, Dr. Henry Lee, was expected to give a keynote address later in the symposium titled: “Shooting Investigation Evidence and Management.”

Malloy said the state will look to Sedensky’s report for further guidance even though advocates for open government are skeptical that the full report will be released to the public.

Sedensky is appealing a September Freedom of Information Commission decision that ordered Newtown police to release 911 calls made from Sandy Hook Elementary School during last December’s attack.

During a hearing on the issue, Sedensky argued that the tapes didn’t have to be made public because they were covered by state laws making certain child-abuse records confidential. It’s that argument that has open government advocates like Attorney Dan Klau concerned.

Earlier this month Klau, who chairs the board of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government, wrote on his blog that based on this argument the public will probably only see “a highly redacted document or a brief summary of its contents.”

Sedensky plans on appealing the commission’s decision regarding the 911 tapes to Superior Court.

“But Mr. Sedensky does not need a determinative decision from a court concerning the merits of his argument to justify (in his mind) withholding the report; he only needs to say that he believes his legal argument has merit and that until the State Supreme Court tells him otherwise, he is going to treat the report as if it contains information relative to a child abuse investigation,” Klau wrote in his post. “Because the law exempts such information from disclosure, he won’t disclose the report.”

The report is expected to include information about what happened on Dec. 14, 2012 and what the police learned from the shooting so they can prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

In the meantime, Malloy told law enforcement officials that the state has done what it can with the information it has to pass “major new gun legislation around the issue of the types of guns that can be sold in the state of Connecticut.” He said they also passed “universal background check requirements” so that everyone who buys or exchanges a gun is subject to a background check.

But it went beyond guns. It strengthened mental health laws and implemented early interventions, specifically for children. He said the one thing to remember about mental health challenges is that most “will in fact be overcome.”

There’s also the issue of school security. The administration has already started distributing about $5 million to school districts to harden their infrastructure. He said he expects the Sandy Hook Commission to offer some guidance in January as to what it school security measures work better than others.

The Sandy Hook Commission is also awaiting the release of Sedensky’s report before it drafts a final report to Malloy. The last meeting it held was in August.

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(3) Comments

posted by: DirtyJobsGUy | October 14, 2013  1:19pm

So the players are set to heavily redact the report on the grounds that this is Child Abuse?  Kids were murdered and the murderer is dead.  Who would gain from witholding information from the public?  Not future victims.  The ground work is set, but Gov Malloy’s statement assuring us that the police response saved lives tips his hand.  The only reason the report is delayed or buried is that the response was slow.  It may have been as fast as possible, but not fast enough.  The narrative cannot play into the NRA’s point that only proper school security can stop crazy people attacking schools.

posted by: Aletheia | October 14, 2013  4:51pm

Aletheia

911 calls made from cellphones go not to the local town dispatch, but to regional State Trooper dispatch centers.  Those centers were being consolidated in the months leading up to Sandy Hook, with numerous reports of dropped 911 calls and delayed dispatch.  The first 911 calls on 12/14 likely went out much earlier than 9:36 a.m., and may account for the unusually early presence of troopers from neighboring districts (who may have received calls much earlier than Newtown, and responded from farther away, assuming Newtown was already responding).  In actuality, many of those officers arrived just after Newtown PD—some possibly before—even though they were coming from quite far away in some cases.

posted by: Aletheia | October 14, 2013  5:17pm

Aletheia

In other words, “slow response time” is misleading, and efforts have already been made by CSP to allege that Newtown PD “waited” while 10 shots were fired. The police audio from that day indicates Newtown was on scene in three minutes from initial dispatch, so we must be careful to elaborate on just what “slow response time” may mean, and not mean.