HCS to add security features at some schools

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Buildings being outfitted with additional equipment

By Kelly Cantrall

New security plans couldn’t be implemented at a better time in Hardin County Schools, as school safety becomes a top concern across the nation.

HCS is adding extra security measures at some of its schools to ensure everyone in the building was allowed to enter by school personnel.

The district is installing cameras at the front doors and buzz-in systems, which force visitors to ask for entrance into the buildings and to show an I.D.

These systems will be installed at the buildings that don’t have security vestibules.

Some of the schools route visitors through administrative offices before they can enter the rest of the building. However, not all of the buildings are constructed that way.

The district began considering these systems in September, said Gary Milby, associate superintendent for finance and support services.

But the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., has made the district, such as others across the country, take a deeper look at the security of its school buildings.

One system costs about $5,000, Milby said, though additional hardware could be needed depending on the structure of the building. The money would come from the district’s capital outlay fund.

Officer Antonio Stephens, district resource officer of Radcliff Police Department, spoke to the HCS board Thursday. Stephens said the idea behind the security features is to delay a school intruder as much as possible, because they can’t be stopped altogether.

“They have to be slowed down,” Stephens said.

Anything that makes gaining full access to the building take more time allows for more time for first responders to arrive, he said.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.