High tech alert system to be added to existing school security measures

High tech alert system to be added to existing school security measures
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 5:07 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Students and staff are finding enhanced security measures as they return to the classroom this week and a high-tech alert system will follow. It’s all aimed at keeping our schools as safe as possible.

Much of what it takes to keep schools safe comes down to knowing who and what is present on a campus. That begins at the front door.

“There’s a check-in process just so we know who’s in the building at all times,” says Principal Ryan Smith of Glenn Duncan Elementary School in northeast Reno. “It’s really important that we know who is in the building at all times and what they are doing.”

Most schools have long since been designed for single entry, but there have been improvements. Some schools will find new construction to keep the process even more secure. Visitors will still have to present some form of government issued ID and wear a visitor’s badge after they sign in, but they may find themselves talking with staff through a new layer of safety glass as they do.

All the usual advice to families still apply, including the role students can play in keeping today’s schools safe. “They’re going to see things and hear things and they need to report those to an adult that they trust on campus,” says Schools Police Chief Jason Trevino. “One thing that I cannot stress enough is: do not spread things on social media, especially if it comes through a reported threat or something like that. Report it to an adult, so we can get that information out and we can start investigating it.”

The biggest change is still in the works but may be hanging on lanyards around the necks of all school staff by the new year.

“It’s an ID card with a big difference--a button which--when pressed can send an alert. They can press it three times and it’s just a local alert, just for their building, says Chief Trevino. “If there’s a medical issue, someone falls and breaks their arm. If they continue to press it, it goes straight to our dispatch and it summons a police response immediately.”