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Hudson Falls schools to upgrade security at entrances

2013-01-09T11:26:00Z Hudson Falls schools to upgrade security at entrancesOMAR RICARDO AQUIJE -- oaquije@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star

HUDSON FALLS -- The school district is upgrading security as a result of last month’s school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

The Hudson Falls district will install a camera, intercom and buzzer system at the main entrance of each of its five school buildings. The work will begin next week and take a day or two to complete, said Superintendent Mark Doody.

Once the changes are made, main entrances will be locked automatically after students are in the building. Visitors will have to stand outside until the buzzer is activated to grant entry.

The intercom and camera will allow employees inside the building to communicate and see visitors.

The main entrance is the only entry into each school because all other exterior doors are locked outside, which is typical for schools.

Doody said it will take time for people to adjust to the new system. He said letters will be sent to parents to inform them of the changes.

“I’m of the opinion that our parents will be supportive even though there may be a slight inconvenience at times,” Doody said. “People certainly understand the need for additional security.”

Doody said the changes were prompted by last month’s shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in which 20 children and six adults died.

Over the holiday break, district officials met with companies about the security upgrades, Doody said.

Each system will cost $1,500, and the district will install five of them. Money from the district’s equipment budget will pay for the improvements, Doody said.

Doody said the cost is low because the district already has the infrastructure.

In addition, the district plans to perform an “intruder drill” at the primary school on Jan. 28. The drill involves police officers who search the building for an intruder.

Doody said the exercise has been done at the middle school and high school buildings. The district wants to eventually do it in each school.

“Police agencies have learned from Newtown that it’s critically important that our staff and students are trained how to conduct themselves in an emergency situation,” Doody said. “We feel it’s important to provide additional training.”

State law requires school districts to conduct fire and lockdown drills each year. But in recent years, some schools have performed more exercises than mandated, or tried new ones, such as the intruder drill at Hudson Falls.

Some local schools in other districts have buzzer systems at main entrances. Others keep one door unlocked, but the entry leads visitors into a main office or a corridor where an employee is there to greet them.

School districts throughout the area have reviewed security procedures, or plan on doing it, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(9) Comments

  1. politicoQB
    Report Abuse
    politicoQB - January 09, 2013 11:26 pm
    Hairball, you've put together quite a nice assortment of words from the English language, but I'm afraid they don't join together in any coherent fashion. I can tell you are trying to convey that there are "two" of something, but that's as far as I got. Sorry!
  2. NanceyMe
    Report Abuse
    NanceyMe - January 09, 2013 10:45 pm
    The part that says "all other entrances are locked" is a lie. My child enters one of the schools from a side entrance whether on time or late! I guess this needs fixing too.
  3. Southern Tiger Paw
    Report Abuse
    Southern Tiger Paw - January 09, 2013 10:36 pm
    Living down south now, there is a police officer at all the area schools. The state needs to foot the salary. The problem with that is they claim to have no money for such a thing. Keep the hands out of the cookie jar and they would. The children, in my opinion, are worth the salary.
  4. dot2dot
    Report Abuse
    dot2dot - January 09, 2013 7:55 pm
    An excellent first step but it is really directed only at intruders. Schools also have to prepare for attacks from students in the building. Outside cameras monitoring the grounds and parking lots would be an excellent next step. A priority should be emergency silent alarm type buzzers in ALL classrooms to immediately notify the office of dangerous situations or emergency medical situations. The offices themselves may want a similar emergency system that can be activated automatically notifying classrooms and the police. Secret code words of "bluebird is in the building" sound wonderful but in a true emergency panic could negate their use. Classroom doors that can be easily locked without a key need to installed. The other huge security problem are the bookbags students bring to school everyday. A routine should be established of randomly searching bookbags for weapons or contraband. Sure, it is a 'violation of privacy' but bookbags are the greatest threat to true school security !
  5. viper
    Report Abuse
    viper - January 09, 2013 7:19 pm
    Are they going to install ballistic glass on the doors? So someone can't shoot there way in like Sandy Hook? Just saying....
  6. greyghost
    Report Abuse
    greyghost - January 09, 2013 4:14 pm
    What would you suggest bocephus23? Seems like a fairly reasonable first step towards school safety issues. Do you have a better idea?
  7. BigDaddy
    Report Abuse
    BigDaddy - January 09, 2013 2:28 pm
    Very good idea nice job Hudson Falls.
  8. Bocephus23
    Report Abuse
    Bocephus23 - January 09, 2013 1:50 pm
    Didnt the shooter from Sandy Hook come in through a window??? And who exactlly is going to be screening this intercom and what are they going to use to make sure this person has a legitimate reason for being in the school???? Are they going to look up the students records to check for their parents names and then how are they going to prove it really is the parent? Make them hold up positive identification to the camera?
  9. hairball19816
    Report Abuse
    hairball19816 - January 09, 2013 12:29 pm
    good now they need two do in all the schools in glens falls and two all school two save our kids are our babys it till they grow up and leav ours house

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