More schools take security seriously


As we enter a new school year, I’m happy to see several districts spent the summer making investments in keeping their students, faculty and staff safer.

•    One New Mexico district partnered with a new bus service provider that equips each bus with three surveillance cameras–one facing the students in their seats, another watching as the kids step on board and the last monitoring the road.  District drivers were immediately pleased.

•    A district in suburban Phoenix installed cameras that will provide surveillance on parking lots, playgrounds and all doors leading into each campus.  The district also added a keyless entry system into the buildings.

•    A Tennessee district added 37 school resource officers to patrol hallways and conduct random locker checks.

•    A central California high school spruced up a quad and added cameras to monitor an area of campus that had become a magnet for gangs and crime.

•    An Arkansas district used federal stimulus funds to pay for cameras in its schools.  The security director hopes the cameras will help to deter crimes or help solve break-ins.

•    A Massachusetts elementary school installed an electronic lock on the front entry so that visitors can enter only after buzzing the front office and identifying themselves.

These were by no means the only districts and schools improving security over the summer.  But it’s good to see more and more campuses across the country taking security seriously.

PatrickFielPatrick Fiel is public safety advisor for ADT Security Services and a former executive director of school security for Washington, D.C. Public School System. He also served 22 years in the Army Military Police Corps, where his responsibilities included day-to-day security operations at the West Point Military Academy. During his time with ADT, Fiel has conducted more than 100 television, radio, newspaper, and magazine interviews as a public and school safety expert.

Follow Patrick Fiel on Twitter.

Laura Ascione

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