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Connecticut releases $5 million toward school security after Newtown

By Richard Weizel

MILFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - Connecticut on Wednesday released $5 million of an expected $15 million in state funding toward boosting security at school buildings, nine months after a gunman massacred 26 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

The funding will pay for additions including bulletproof glass, panic alarms, surveillance cameras and other technology. Most of the initial funds will go to Hartford, the state capital city and Bridgeport, its largest city.

"We will never be able to prevent every random act, but we can take the steps necessary to make sure that our children and our teachers are as safe as possible," Governor Dannel Malloy said. "This funding allows districts with the most need to implement modern security measures that will make schools safer."

The bucolic suburb of Newtown was shaken on December 14, 2012, when a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire, killing 20 young children and six faculty and staff before turning his gun on himself.

The mass killing prompted Connecticut, as well as neighboring New York and nearby New Jersey, to pass laws tightening their already restrictive rules on gun ownership. An attempt to pass stiffer federal laws died in Congress, with gun-rights advocates saying tighter restrictions would harm law-abiding gun owners while doing little to deter crime.

Connecticut's move comes two days after the United States experienced another mass shooting, when a gunman at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard killed a dozen workers having breakfast before police shot him dead.

(Editing by Scott Malone and David Gregorio)

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