Gov. Dannel Malloy has appointed Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson as chairman of the newly-formed School Security Advisory Commission that will "review current policy and make specific recommendations in the areas of public safety, with particular attention paid to school safety, mental health, and gun violence prevention," the governor's office announced Thursday.
The commission was formed in response to the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, when Adam Lanza shot his way into the school armed with an assault rifle and gunned down 20 students and six staff members including the school principal before killing himself.
Prior to the attack, Lanza murdered him mother in their Newtown home.
In the wake of the shootings, state leaders vowed to take action to make sure such an incident could never happen again, including stricter gun control measures. The formation of the commission was part of that vow.
“Shortly after the initial horror and the immediate grief over what occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, there was one question on the lips of many of our residents: How do we make sure this never happens again? It’s the right question, even as we recognize that despite our best efforts, bad things will happen,” Malloy said in a release Thursday after holding a press conference announcing the formation of the commission.
“We don’t yet know the underlying cause behind this tragedy, and we probably never will," he said. "But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. I want the commission to have the ability to study every detail, so they can help craft meaningful legislative and policy changes.”
The commission will include experts in areas including education, mental health, law enforcement and emergency response, Malloy said, but its members aside from Jackson have not yet been named. It will have until March 15 to compile its recommendations, the governor said.
“This commission will look for ways to make sure our gun laws are as tight as they are reasonable, that our mental health system can reach those that need its help," Malloy said, "and that our law enforcement has the tools it needs to protect public safety, particularly in our schools.”