Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe released a statement for the first time since Friday's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Chief Michael Kehoe and his officers have been working to process the crime scenes nearly around the clock. In the statement, Kehoe praises the teachers who gave their lives trying to save their students.
"They became first responders to unimaginable chaos and violence. Their actions under fire to protect the children inspire us all," Kehoe said. "Equally inspiring was the courage of our children in helping their classmates."
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Kehoe also praised his officers, as well as firefighters and emergency medical personnel who responded to the school in the moments after the shooting began.
In a town trying to find a way to return to normal, Kehoe tried to put parents' minds at ease.
"I would like to reassure the people of Newtown that our schools are safe. The staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School had taken all reasonable precautions to provide a safe learning environment to the faculty and students of the school. Those precautions clearly saved lives."
The following is Chief Kehoe's statement in its entirety:
The Newtown Police Department wishes to express its deepest sympathies to the families of those lost in the senseless tragedy that visited Sandy Hook Elementary School and to the entire Town of Newtown on Friday, December 14, 2012.
First, let me offer my praise to our teachers and school staff They became first responders to unimaginable chaos and violence. Their actions under fire to protect the children inspire us all. Equally inspiring was the courage of our children in helping their classmates. Our police, fire, and emergency medical personnel reacted quickly and without hesitation, rapidly responding to Sandy Hook Elementary School. Their professionalism was heartwarming to witness; our community is proud of them.
I appreciate the many area police departments and the Connecticut State Police, who have provide immediate assistance in our time of need. The unconditional support of the law enforcement community as we investigate and recover has been overwhelming.
Processing multiple crime scenes in Newtown, conducting countless interviews, and analyzing all of the evidence is very daunting and time-consuming task. Newtown Police Officers are working with state and federal authorities to thoroughly and professionally analyze all aspects of this crime as we seek answers.
I would like to reassure the people of Newtown that our schools are safe. The staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School had taken all reasonable precautions to provide a safe learning environment to the faculty and students ofthe school. Those precautions clearly saved lives.
I thank the community for its support ofthe Newtown Police Department. We much appreciate the outpouring of food, gifts and expressions of support to our agency.
The Newtown Police Department will work with our community partners to restore a sense of security and normalcy to Newtown. Our law enforcement professionals are committed to helping the community through this difficult period. It is my honor to be associated with such fine people.