New security measures installed at Valley View Schools
Mar 05, 2013 (Chicago Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Officials at Valley View School District 365U are boosting security at all of the district's schools by installing upgraded locks, new door buzzer systems and panic alarms in each building, district officials said.
District employees began the security upgrade last month, partly in response to last year's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., according to a news release from the district. The project should be complete by spring, officials said.
"In light of the events in Newtown, Conn., in December, it is more important now than ever that we have these systems in place," Mike Lopez, the district's director of facility operations, said in a statement.
The entrance doors to all 22 of the district's school offices have been kept locked during school days since the Newtown shooting, district officials said. That has forced office workers in each school to get up from their desks to open the door each time a properly identified person needs to enter.
However, the district's new buzzer entry system will allow office employees to identify visitors and unlock doors without having to leave their desks.
Panic alarms are also being installed in each school office, district officials said. Local police will immediately be notified and an alarm signaling a hard lockdown will sound throughout the building when one of the buttons is pressed.
The district's new lock system will also allow school and district officials to assign keys to various staffers, collect the keys when needed and track the history of each key. The system should help the district account for lost keys and standardize all its locks, officials said.
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