In a concerted and ongoing effort to bolster the safety of students and staff, included in the FY 2014 school budget were funds to support improved building security and monitoring, including:
- main and secondary entry systems;
- replacement of unsecured doors;
- upgraded door locking systems; and
- improved monitoring systems.
Since the passing of the budget (many, many thanks again to the voters), these enhanced safety and security features have gotten well under way in every school in the district.
What does this mean for you?
In addition to added cameras and keyless entry systems in our schools, school doors will be locked during the day. During school hours, keyless swipe identification cards will be used by district employees, and guests to the building will be asked to identify themselves before receiving access.
The purpose of these enhancements and additional procedures is to help ensure the health, welfare, and safety of our school community.
Please note: As training, testing, and final preparations for the new system to go live are scheduled, we will inform the community when the keyless entry process is operational.
The improved building security features bolster your district’s long-standing and ongoing efforts to provide safe instructional environments for our students and staff members. Our two-part primer “Law Enforcement Presence in Our Schools and Why It Is Important” explains Colchester Police Department’s regular involvement with your school district since 1989, which includes comprehensive Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) training (please click here to see an article and a video of DARE training in action at Union Memorial School) as well as officers’ participation in a vast array of ongoing in-school and community outreach efforts, including but not limited to:
- reading aloud to students
- participating in Red Ribbon Week
- attending PTO meetings when appropriate
- liaising with a number of mentoring programs, including the Town of Colchester’s ACE Before- and After-School Program
- attending student games and other extracurricular functions
- assisting with bus dismissal
- introducing CPD’s dog, Tazor, to students at special presentations
- assisting with instruction about forensics
- partnering with CSD in conducting drug searches at Colchester Middle School and Colchester High School
CPD officers also collaborate closely with teachers and administration, actively participating in the schools’ crisis management teams and working closely with administration to develop and expand crime-prevention efforts. They assist with the evacuation and lock-down drills, help to develop and coordinate incident response plans, and provide feedback and strategize methods for improved school safety. CPD officers also work closely with the district around other difficult issues like child safety protocols and restraining orders, and they partner with the state attorney’s office to ensure our schools’ compliance with state regulations.
School safety is a top priority. Please partner with us in making our schools even safer; become part of the conversation and share your thoughts and ideas. We are listening!
Please stay tuned for Part II of this article, which will announce when the new features are fully operational.
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