East Grand schools install new security features, plan safety trainings
Visitors to any of the East Grand schools this year may notice that it takes a little longer to get in the doors. That’s because the district invested in additional security measures, including buzz-in locks and cameras.
The new buzz-in locks and cameras were installed in the foyer areas of the schools, inside the outer doors but before entering the main school building, in an effort to provide an extra layer of protection.
East Grand schools already had buzz-in locks and cameras on the outer doors that required visitors to announce themselves and state their business before they were let in by front office staff, but the view was limited.
“We established the same basic, buzz-in system for the inside doors,” said Superintendent Frank Reeves. “Only with that we installed cameras in each of the foyers. So if someone comes to the first door and you don’t know that maybe five or six people are coming in you can see that when you buzz them in the second door. At least then we are getting at are people here for what they say they are.”
Reeves said the new security measures were installed before this school year because safety is always a priority and the school tries to keep its security measures up to date and effective.
“It’s just trying to stay as current as possible and keep it as a focus,” he said. “We’re trying to do some things to, one, address safety right away, but, two, continually become safer and safer.”
The district invested $30,000 for the upgrades, which they chose for their ease of installation and use, as well as them being a cost-effective way to address safety.
Since the installation, Reeves said it has taken more time to get into the building and for visitors and staff are still getting used to the added security, but he hopes additional training and information will help make the system as successful as possible.
Training would focus on helping staff members identify risky behaviors, prepare for potentially dangerous situations and build confidence using the new equipment.
“There’s going to be a lot of training on ‘what to do if’ throughout this year and probably next,” Reeves said. “It makes people feel a lot more secure when you are training and that feeling of security is probably as important as being secure.”
Teachers also have a new security tool at their disposal since the district partnered with a safety app that allows users to easily notify police or other staff in an emergency situation.
Reeves said all of the new additions contribute to a more secure environment and help staff and students feel more secure, which is the highest priority for the district.
“We just want to be as prepared as possible and, philosophically, we’re trying to keep our schools open, welcoming and happy learning places and not like prisons,” Reeves said.
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