NY School District to Implement Security Changes in 2019

NY School District to Implement Security Changes in 2019

East Islip school officials said they will be implementing security changes beginning early next year, including the addition of armed security guards on campuses and the installation of new safety hardware.

East Islip Union Free School District officials said they will be implementing security changes beginning early next year, including the addition of armed security guards on campuses and the installation of new technology.

After the winter break, there will be armed security guards present at East Islip schools. The decision to add armed security staff was voted on by board members after multiple discussions on school safety between district officials and the Board of Education, according to Superintendent of Schools John V. Dolan.

"This decision was made after months of thoughtful deliberation, research and multiple conversations with law enforcement, security professionals, our insurance carrier and district lawyers," Dolan said.

Instead of hiring new armed security guards, the district will be equipping many of the existing guards, all of whom are qualified, retired law enforcement officers. Armed guards will be required to undergo any necessary training and follow guidelines set by the board.

"As always, the topic of safety and security is discussed among our staff often and we continually enhance and update our security protocols and infrastructure based on these discussions," Dolan said. "We also constantly seek advice from and meet regularly with law enforcement authorities to ensure our personnel are well-informed and our Crisis Management Plan is updated regularly."

In addition to arming security guards, East Islip will be making physical changes to increase campus security. The district will beef up security at school entrances, including the addition of sets of two interlocking doors that require the first set of doors to be shut before the second set can be opened.

New hardware will replace exterior doors, and vestibules and lobbies will be reconfigured.

The district is also reviewing its mental health staff for the 2019-2020 school year and adding a peer mentoring program in an effort to better support students’ social and emotional wellbeing.

Work on these changes is expected to begin in 2019.

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Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.