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Bob Parker

Lt. Robert Parker served with the Omaha (Neb.) PD for 30 years and commanded the Emergency Response Unit. He is responsible for training thousands of law enforcement instructors in NTOA's Patrol Response to Active Shooters courses.



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Jose Medina

Officer Jose Medina is an active member of the Piscataway (N.J.) Police Department's SWAT team and runs Awareness Protective Consultants (Team APC) tactical training.
SWAT

U.S. Schools Beef Up Security

School districts around the country evaluate security upgrades.

December 17, 2012  |  by Robin Hattersley Gray

Not surprisingly, in the wake of the Connecticut mass shooting that occurred on Friday, school districts around the nation are taking a closer look at how they are securing their campuses. Here's an overview of what some districts are considering.

Officials in Medford, Natick, and Boston said they would increase security immediately, and several schools said they would review their procedures, reports the Boston Globe.

In Natick, Mass., the front door of each school will be locked, and personnel will be positioned at the entrances.

In Medford, Mass., police and security staff will be present on Monday. Additionally, the district will be upgrading its video surveillance and access control systems.

In Cambridge, Mass., school staff and teachers will meet with parents to help them address the questions their children may have about the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. In Arlington, and Lexington, Mass., counselors will be on hand for students, and police will patrol the neighborhoods.

Officials in Passaic Valley, N.J., are also reevaluating their school’s security, reports NorthJersey.com. Little Falls Police met with school officials over the weekend, noting a school resource officer is at the high school and they practice drills and have a security system in place.

In Totowa, N.J.,  officials are looking at installing bullet-proof glass and metal doors, as well as placing police officers at two of the schools during the lunch hour. The district already has a security officer on site, as well as security cameras and a key-card system.

Woodland, N.J., police also plan to review their school security measures, including how campuses manage visitors, although they already have police patrols and practice evacuation and lockdown drills.

Additional police patrols are planned for Fairfax County (Va.) Public Schools, as well as for schools in Hillsborough County, Fla., reports NPR. In Maryland, Montgomery County Public Schools have made counselors available for students. Tucson, Ariz., schools are doing the same.

In Milford, Conn., police will be present in all school buildings this week, and all visitors to schools will need to schedule an appointment, reports the Milford Patch. Additionally, school administrators and school committee members will be more visible in the buildings. Crisis counselors will available.

In Connecticut, State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said all school safety plans are being reevaluated. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is also calling for a review of his state's school safety plans, as is California's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Thom Torlakson.

Nationally, President Barack Obama called for "meaningful action" that would prevent other tragedies like what occurred at Sandy Hook. Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut called for a national commission on violence.

Robin Hattersley Gray is the executive editor of Campus Safety Magazine, a sister publication of POLICE Magazine.

Related:

Two Campuses Deal With Active Shooters

Tags: Campus Safety, Sandy Hook School Shooting, Access Control


Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Morning Eagle @ 12/25/2012 10:07 PM

This indicates a positive trend where school officials are finally beginning to acknowledge the potential threat to the facilities and student populations they are responsible for. Hopefully it will spread rapidly across the country and not slack off as time passes with no further attacks.

John @ 12/26/2012 6:35 AM

I'm glad school officials are evaluating their security plans and considering adding physical security barriers. Of course, this should have been done years ago.

As far as Obama calling for "meaningful action": this is just political speak for a gun grap that will not make schools any safer. Too bad Obama, Feinstein and the rest of the gang in D.C. are not willing to spend money on helping to protect our children. Has all of the trillion dollar stimulus package/corporate bailout money been spent?

John @ 12/26/2012 8:41 AM

correction: grab

Tom Ret @ 12/26/2012 2:15 PM

You gotta love these liberals like NBC David Gregory who mock having armed security in the schools when his child or children attend a school that has armed security. You gotta love these guys like Gregory who champions the cause for more gun laws as he holds onto a 30 round magazine in meet the press which is in violation of current DC gun laws.
These guys are hypocrites of the highest order. They apparently are not even smart enough to obey the laws they want pushed on everyone else.

Bob @ VA @ 1/2/2013 6:15 AM

Israel, Utah, et al, had the answer to these incidents long ago - arm teachers and administrators. Israel also has an armed guard limiting access to each campus. The US has a large pool of retired LEOs and military from which to draw volunteer guards in most communities to start right away, then vettting CCW civilians to expand the pool. Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun, and the armed good guy better be on scene at the very start of the incident. Even the best LE response will take time during which innocents can be executed without opposition. We need to go with a proven approach, what I've suggested has worked for almost 40 years.

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