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Security Thoughts after the Shooting in Connecticut

Thoughts on security after the awful incident in Connecticut.

First my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the tragedy in Connecticut. Now I want your opinion.

As a security professional I was asked today what do I think is a solution to help eliminate this. I think first schools need to invest in better electronic security, such as advanced security cameras and access control systems that lets school officials monitor the activities inside and out...side of the school as well as who is entering and exiting.

In addition I think the schools need one or more security guards to properly handle and search visitors with a strict zero tolerance for allowing anyone in without properly being searched and checked.

The big question is how do we pay? My solution is schools may need to seriously look at corporate sponsorship. I'm not talking about Red Bull or things perceived to be bad for kids.

But businesses, services, recreational places that could invest enough money to help keep the children of today and the future safe. I also think schools with sports fields should start selling advertising plaques on the outfield wall of the baseball field for sidelines of the football field which will also help pay for the systems and people that will help keep our children safe.

I would love to hear anyone's comments or thoughts on my idea and would welcome a conversation whether you agree or disagree with my suggestion because I'm sure we all agree that finding a way to make things safer for our children as well as the teachers and staff that we entrust them to everyday is always of the utmost importance. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ter December 16, 2012 at 07:43 PM
My daughter is in first grade at Simmons. I am very concerned with the laid back security of such a big school. I like your ideas, we have to get creative to find the way to ensure the safety of our children, whatever it takes. I hope that action is taken immediately, we never can know when tragedy could strike.
Betsy Erickson December 16, 2012 at 08:25 PM
I know that we immediately want to respond with increase security. We can not completely protect our students if someone wants to harm them. Our schools are already feeling the pinch with trying to keep up on supplies, staff, field trips, PE equipment, playground equipment, updating technologies. Now you are suggesting adding another bill to the pile. I agree it is a tragedy! But, security guards would have been killed, and if someone had tried to stop him to check his "bag", they would have been killed. From what I remember of the school at Simmons, there is only one way in, through the front door and the classes are all inside. What else can be done that does not turn our school into a prison? I would like the discussion to turn to how can we help students who may have emotional or mental problems before they get to this level. What support is given to teachers and parents who report a child who is violent in the primary grades? What support is given at each of our educational levels when students can not function within the traditional school setting? We as a society must look at getting these children and families help at the earliest possible moment. Please do not spend valuable resources on security precautions that will not stop those intent on harming others, spend it instead on services to help those in need.
Ter December 16, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Disagree with you Betsy. There may only be one way in at Simmons ( this is debatable too), but that one way is not well secured. Anyone can walk in at anytime and make their way to our children who are just a short few feet down the hallway. You are supposed to go to the office to get a pass and sign in, but there is no protection from what I have seen to stop anyone from entering with violent intentions. Do you have children at Simmons? I don't believe you do because if you did, this would be unacceptable to you with having your child unprotected from this type of harm.
DLS December 17, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Knee-jerk reactions will not keep our children safer. I am tired of being searched everywhere I go in the name of security. Short of allowing all school staff to be armed (and I don't think that's necessarily a good idea), there is nothing we can do to be 100% safe from people who are this intent on evil. He would have killed anyone in his path, including a security guard. My best realistic suggestion is installing buzz-in doors from the office into the school and panic alarms, which may have slowed him down and given the teachers enough notice to lock down their classrooms. And yes, I do have children at Simmons as well.
Bill Sams December 17, 2012 at 02:35 PM
The teachers that gave their life to try to save the Children were Brave but if they were allowed to carry, This may be the answer. No one can predict what will happen with a Deranged person. This is a terrible thing that our schools face. May the Lord help us and keep our children safe.
Sue Wertz December 17, 2012 at 03:06 PM
It is my understanding that this man was not let in, that he broke the glass out of the front doors and walked in. An idea to shore up the doors would at the least slow down someone, giving the police time to respond before entrance is gained. Security grilles are an option; they bolt to the existing door frame and would not impede the functionality of the door or panic bar device for exiting.
Leigh December 17, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Good idea Sue. Arming teachers and school faculty is definitely not the answer. We can't make our schools prisons and have our children living in fear. We need to look at the procedures we already have in place and make sure they are being followed.
grace Blanton December 17, 2012 at 04:40 PM
First and foremost people with either mental or severe personality disorders should be identified making them unqualified to purchase or own guns. People who legally own guns (particularly those with children and/or those with family menbers with mental, etc. personality problems) should be required to keep them under lock and key (hear the hue and cry?) Illegal gun carrying penalties should be stiffened, license fees should be increased and schooling on gun handling should be mandatory. Assault weapons should be banned. And the obvious - legislation should be set in motion as soon as the Fiscal Cliff problem is history. LET's TAKE BACK THE JUNGLE. Grace
Bob December 17, 2012 at 05:52 PM
As soon as the US pulls our security troops out of Afghanistan, let us put those troops on our streets to make us safer at home. Our police need support in enforcing our current and future gun laws and regulations. Taking back the jungle can not be done with feel good laws and regulations, it must be done with a surge of troop force. Paris France has security police with assault rifles ready to handle problems on it's public transportation systems. Grace Blanton is right,
Bob December 17, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Local police need a list of people with severe mental disorders just like sex offenders are listed publicly.
Leigh December 17, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I already see the complete lack of rationality coming to light. No Grace, my children do not need to be educated on handling guns. And no Bob, we don't need military personal walking our streets - we do not live in a jungle. And what is a list of people with "severe" mental disorders going to accomplish? This kid wasn't known to have "severe" mental disorders - he was known to be quiet, shy and very smart. Should we put all of the people that fit this profile on a list too? The paranoia and the fear mongering are what we need to avoid.
Mike Shortall Sr December 17, 2012 at 08:15 PM
The Posse Comitas Act (1878) prohibits a military solution to crime without an constitutional amendment or act of Congress. In any case, not necessarily a good option to have military units patrolling our streets to fight common crime.
Mike Shortall Sr December 17, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Sorry, Posse Comitatus Act ...
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Bob December 19, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Many soldiers can fit into civilian roles of being guards under the direction of the governor of a state.
Bob December 19, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Hopefully President Obama can work to restore American Citizens faith in the governments ability to defend all it's citizens so that there will less gun ownership. He has the political capital, but will he use it effectively?
michelle December 20, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I think all of the points of above are good. but you have to realize that someone unstable or a criminal will find a way to get a gun no matter what law is in place. Yes it will be harder but when someone is thinking of doing a horrific crime like this they will find a way. you can put all the locks on doors and camras and arm your teachers. But again if you have someone wanting to do a crime to a specific place they will find a way. Last i checked all our kids go out to recess so if they cant get in they will wait or break in a window. I have 3 kids of my own and its scary but when your dealing with criminals or illness they will find a way. God bless all the famlies at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Siobhra DeWar December 31, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I am a gun owner and I carry. I see at the range a lot of us shoot much better than the cops. Gun owners are for the most part gun lovers. We love to shoot. Cops are mostly interested in protecting others and find the gun is just a tool. And a lot of them hold the gun in disdain. The same would be for teachers. And guards to be of value would have to be professional. Look at the guards at malls. Some are sharp and professional but most are old retired men looking for a little extra income. And the pay is not much. If we want armed guards who are professional and sharp we need to pay a lot. There are several small steps that would help a little. Look at the 7-11's and WaWa. Free coffee for the cops to lure them in. What would it take to draw cops to spend time at the schools? Free lunch? Free coffee? What I feel would work the best is several small things. Like ALL doors will need to be hardened. Slow down the room to room movement. Sectional fire doors that can close to seal off parts of the school. Do away with the 'gun free zone' status of schools. People would still need to check in and have business in the school. I can't enter the Simmons School since I don't have children there. I do have grandsons in a school in the Wind Gap area. As a grandparent I should be allowed to visit them. That introduces to the attack a level of uncertainty. Now they would not know who is carrying if any. Let's have the attackers do the worrying not the kids.

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