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Valley View schools install safer locks, buzzer systems, panic alarms

Published: Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 11:50 a.m. CDT

Valley View School District 365U has upgraded security in all of its schools by installing buzzer entry systems, panic alarms, and intruder lock hardware and key tracking software, according to a release.

“In light of the events in Newtown in December, it is now more important that we have these systems in place,” said Mike Lopez, Director of Valley View Facility Operations.

Since the incident in Newtown, Valley View Superintendent James Mitchem ordered that the entrance doors in all 22 school offices remain locked during the school day, the release states. In most cases, that has meant office personnel must get up from their desks each time to open the door for visitors with the proper credentials.

The buzzer systems will now allow staff to admit properly identified visitors while stationed at their desks.

Also, panic alarms are being installed at each school office. When pressed, these buttons will not only immediately alert the local police department but will also sound an easily recognizable alarm throughout the building that will alert every teacher to go into hard lockdown mode, according to the school district.

The keystone lock system will eventually allow school and district administrators to assign, reassign and collect keys from staff during the school year, and track the history of each key, according to Lopez.

“This will allow us to more effectively account for lost keys and will standardize all of our locks in a way that has never been done before,” Lopez said.

Installation of all of the security devices should be complete in the spring.

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