Plano ISD Focuses on Security

Plano ISD Focuses on Security

Joe Parks, Plano ISD executive director of safety and security services, gave an update on the district’s security measures at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Joe Parks, Plano ISD executive director of safety and security services, gave an update on the district’s security measures at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Since last year, Plano ISD has added 15 new school resource officers and upgraded security cameras at multiple campuses.

The new cameras cover hallways and district parking lots, filming with clear resolution. With the new updates, first responders can access school cameras and an integrated video-intercom system at the high schools in an emergency. The cameras have been expanded to 32 campuses so far.

Plano East, Plano Senior and Plano West now have a new Telecenter-U PA system that includes pre-recorded announcement to be used in an emergency lockout or lockdown. The PA system is also connected to the bell schedule and the door access control system, allowing district administrators to lock outside doors as needed with one button.

Each PISD campus keeps a few designated doors open to allow late arrivals or students coming from different campuses, but the doors are monitored by a group of paraprofessional Campus Safety Managers (CSMs). Each senior high school has two CSMs, and the CSMs are also trained in adult and child CPR and use of the AED defibrillator.

Plano ISD also conducts random metal detector searches at secondary campuses. According to Parks, the searches are organized to promote efficiency and minimize disruption during the school day. The searches take an average of about 15 minutes or less to get through all the students, and the students are given a handout after the searches to explain their purpose and where to ask questions.

The Plano Police Department and the district are working to get vehicles so school resource officers can shuttle back and forth between elementary schools. Each vehicle costs about $40,000.

According to Parks, 33 officers applied for the 15 SRO positions the district had open. Plano PD selected the officers for specialized training last month, and they should have their assignments by August.

The district is also piloting a new emergency app program called Alertus, which gives an audible warning to students and staff during an emergency. District officials can use Alertus to send out emergency messages to students and faculty on their phones or screens across the campus.

The app can be difficult to hear in loud environments, Parks said. He said the district is also working on how to administer visual emergency alerts for the Regional Day School for the Deaf campuses.

“I think we’re head and shoulders above most districts,” Parks said.

Digital Edition

  • Campus Security & Life Safety Magazine - September October 2019

    September/October 2019

    Featuring:

    • Security Technology is a Top Priority
    • HERO Unit Provides School Security
    • Confront Active Shooters
    • Run, Hide, and Let Law Enforcement Fight

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