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Police Chief After Parent's Arrest: No Evidence That Students, Staff In Danger

Superintendent says he's been in touch with the police; Jerry Larsen responds to the "what ifs" after man arrested following visit to elementary school.

Editor's Note: The following was written by Superintendent Rich Burns, followed by a statement from East Hampton Village Police Chief Jerry Larsen regarding parent's concern following the arrest of Harry Dalian, a parent, on Friday. Police allege that Dalian identified himself as a New York City Police Officer after a visit to the John M. Marshall Elementary School on Thursday. When he was arrested Friday, in Wainscott, he had a loaded 9mm handgun on him, for which he had a permit.

To All Parents and Staff: Please regard this correspondence as official information from the District regarding the behavior of a parent in the school parking lot on Wednesday, May 1.  Since the event, I have been in frequent contact with East Hampton Village Police Chief Larsen. This morning at my office I received Chief Larsen’s official police statement (please read below). I have been in contact with the John Marshall principal and am now satisfied that all pertinent facts are known by the district.  I can assure you that our students and staff were never in danger. As always, the safety of our children and staff is the top priority in our school system. Please bring any concerns or questions you may have to my attention.

-- Rich Burns

This statement is being written in an attempt to calm the parents, teachers and others in our community who are upset and concerned about the encounter that occurred in Elementary School parking lot on May 1, 2013.

The Police Department acted quickly in dealing with this situation as I was personally concerned as to the motive and stability of the defendant. Now that the investigation has concluded, I feel reasonably certain to say; at no time on May 1 during Mr. Dalian’s visit to the school were any children or faculty in danger. In fact, there is no evidence that the defendant had any weapons on his possession at the time he was on school property.

The Police and the School worked together and Mr. Dalian has been banned from all school properties and all of his weapons have been confiscated by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department. Due to this incident I am requesting that the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department permanently revoke Mr. Dalian gun permit.

I realize that this incident and the "what if’s", will bring into question future security concerns and needs. Our community is not any different in this respect than any other place in the country. The Police Department and the School Administration have always worked together on the security needs of the school. During the last several months we have worked even harder to tighten security of all our school facilities and will continue to do so.

-- Chief Larsen
Lady L May 06, 2013 at 07:54 PM
Related Articles Dispelling a Common Gun-Control Myth Does School Choice Reduce Crime? When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens For Public Safety, a New Golden Age How Australia Got Its Triple-A Credit Rating Back Articles By Topic Economic Issues Education Issues Environment Issues Government Issues Health Issues International Issues Tax and Spending Issues Subscribe to Daily Policy Digest by Email Our most popular newsletter, Daily Policy Digest summarizes the most topical public policy issues from today's newspapers, scholarly journals and think tanks. First Name: Last Name: Email Address: View all subscription options AUSTRALIA: MORE VIOLENT CRIME DESPITE GUN BAN April 13, 2009 It is a common fantasy that gun bans make society safer. In 2002 -- five years after enacting its gun ban -- the Australian Bureau of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime. In fact, the percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006 (16.3 percent), says the D.C. Examiner. Even Australia's Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research acknowledges that the gun ban had no significant impact on the amount of gun-involved crime: In 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent. Sexual assault -- Australia's equivalent term for rape -- increased 29.9 percent. Overall, Australia's violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent. Moreover, Australia and the United States -- where no gun-ban exists -- both experienced similar decreases in murder rates: Between 1995 and 2007, Australia saw a 31.9 percent decrease; without a gun ban, America's rate dropped 31.7 percent. During the same time period, all other violent crime indices increased in Australia: assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent. Sexual assault -- Australia's equivalent term for rape -- increased 29.9 percent. Overall, Australia's violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent. At the same time, U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8 percent: rape dropped 19.2 percent; robbery decreased 33.2 percent; aggravated assault dropped 32.2 percent. Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women. While this doesn't prove that more guns would impact crime rates, it does prove that gun control is a flawed policy. Furthermore, this highlights the most important point: gun banners promote failed policy regardless of the consequences to the people who must live with them, says the Examiner. Source: Howard Nemerov, "Australia experiencing more violent crime despite gun ban," Free Republic, April 9, 2009. Also read John Lott "More Guns Less Crime" 30 yrs of statistics. Or do a google search. Regardless, every time a country has registered guns they eventually confiscated them. Not here, the Americans will not let the Constitution be further eroded.
Lady L May 06, 2013 at 09:39 PM
According to data from the FBI’s uniform crime reports, California had the highest number of gun murders in 2011 with 1,220 — which makes up 68 percent of all murders in the state that year and equates to 3.25 murders per 100,000 people. The irony of such a grisly distinction is evident when you look at which state was named the state with the strongest gun control laws in 2011 by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. You guessed it — it was California. “What is very unusual is that California also has a program by which we can remove guns, recover guns from people who have a gun and then subsequently become prohibited or dangerous,” Brady Campaign spokeswoman Amanda Wilcox said at the time. It should be noted, though, that California is also one of the biggest states in the country, with a population of about about 37 million. Therefore, it might make sense that it would have a high number of murders but its murder rate is still high as gun control has had a seemingly inconsequential impact. In comparison, Texas has a population of about 25.6 million and saw 699 total gun murders in 2011 — nearly half that of California — and a firearms murder rate of 2.91 per 100,000. In 2011, Utah, the state that the Brady Campaign determined had the least gun control, experienced just 26 gun murders and a firearms murder rate of 0.97. Utah has a population 2.8 million. ournalist and attorney Jeffrey Scott Shapiro explains the not-so-surprising result in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 15, 2013: The gun ban had an unintended effect: It emboldened criminals because they knew that law-abiding District residents were unarmed and powerless to defend themselves. Violent crime increased after the law was enacted, with homicides rising to 369 in 1988, from 188 in 1976 when the ban started. By 1993, annual homicides had reached 454. On top of all this info I've sent, most gun violence is done by gangs, who don't obey any gun laws.
michael dickerson May 13, 2013 at 05:44 PM
In response to "Lady L" and other people who feel this recent incident at the John Marshall School has been sufficiently analyzed and defined as of no threat to the children, teachers and staff members on an afternoon visit by an allegedly "concerned parent": Just because police state that there 'is no evidence he had a gun in his possession" during his visit to the school, it does not mean he DID NOT have a gun in his possession. Further investigation will hopefully bear out this initial statement. The thought of him actually getting through the doors of the school with a gun is horrific. Taking into account that this man was arrested a short time after his visit with what has been reported as a loaded gun is profoundly disconcerting. I am led to believe he may very well have had that gun with him as no one did check him for it. Combine a psychotic pattern of thought with aggressive and purposeful, deceptive behavior (for which he has been charged) to school and police officials and I am praying, "thanks to God", that somehow these children were under the wings of a fleet of protective angels. Do not construe the fact that this story did not end in tragedy as a defense for the dangerous, irrational behavior of one parent or the domino effect of situations which led us through that frightening afternoon to the lingering fear and distrust we as a community must now hold the entire system of protections which are currently in place to protect our children. If something "seems off", check it! If some one makes you uncomfortable, check them! Suspicious? Report it! Better to insult, embarrass or inconvenience someone that pay the price other communities have already paid! Michael Dickerson
Martha Nassauer May 13, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Michael, the article states that police became suspicious after this parent approached them on May 1, with concerns of school security. Apparently, he flashed a badge wrongfully, which if true, demonstrates that he has issues. If he felt that he was not being taken seriously, there were other measures he could have taken instead of trying to charade as an active duty officer. However, the police arrested him two days later (which is not exactly a "short time later") where he was reported to have had a gun on him at that time. Where I agree that this irrational behavior of bearing a false badge of authority needs to be addressed, there is no reason to believe the officers would withhold the truth if they had believed or suspected/had proof that he really brought a gun into the school. On the contrary, I believe they would (and rightfully so) have pursued charges for this as well. Now, the schools and authorities have a huge job on their hands in protecting the students and faculty. The days of the gym door being open on a nice day, or windows being open to let in fresh air, are becoming a thing of the past, as a preventative measure. Where I am a believer in the Constitution, including the 2nd Amendment, I believe the police have a challenging task now in determining when to intervene. We are not privy to all the details of this case, but I am satisfied with the police response to suspend this parent's right to bear arms until due process results in a determination. If anything, their actions in doing so should have reinforced trust within the community that protection of our children is a very serious issue, and is not taken lightly by local authorities. I do agree that we all need to keep our eyes open, as doing so can be a valuable tool for local authorities in maintaining a safer community...as long as discernment and common sense are utilized.
Christina DeLauro May 18, 2013 at 08:10 AM
First of all, if the guy does not need to carry a gun for work, what the hell was he doing with one. The article says the guns were properly licensed to him. Was that for possession at home or for concealed carry? CHILDREN FIRST!!!!! TAKE NO CHANCES!!!!! This guy obviously has MAJOR issues. He broke the law, in a school building, period. With what goes on in this world these days, there is no wiggle room. Things like this must be aggressively investigated and honestly reported to the public. To hell with his rights! Impersonating a police officer is a felony. Felons don't share the same rights we do. Our kids however certainly have the right to not be worried about idiots like this. STOP AND THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!

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