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Sachem Security Presents Current, Future Outlook For District

In light of Newtown, Conn. shootings, the district's head of security put together a package of what the school is currently doing and what it hopes to accomplish down the road.

At the January 16 Board of Education meeting, Sachem Director of Security Wayne Wilson, along with Assistant Director James Kalachik presented a detailed presentation of the office's responsibilities, duties and certification processes for guards under his administration. They also pointed out areas they would like to see enhanced in the near future to protect all students in the district.

Currently during daytime operations, security personnel at the district includes:

  • 1 Base Operator
  • 9 guards at HS East (reduced from 12 for elementary coverage)
  • 9 guards at North (reduced from 12 for elementary coverage)
  • 1 guard at each of the four middle schools
  • 2 district-wide mobile units
  • 12 guards at the Elementary schools

Wilson stopped short of naming specific procedures, citing that it would be counterproductive to safety, but assured the community that his department was "doing everything at this time" to protect students.

During the questioning portion of the presentation Wilson and board members understood that the district is spread somewhat thin, especially with the 3-guard reduction in staff at the two high schools. Wilson stated he would be presenting his financial recommendations for the new budget in the near future.

Among future considerations for enhancing the district's security, Wilson recommended:

  • Upgrading the existing camera systems.
  • Installing additional interior/exterior cameras at both East and North high schools.
  • K-9 search services from Suffolk Police.
  • Walk-thru metal detectors and hand held wands on request.
  • A Security Command Center.
  • Continued networking with local authorities and emergency management agencies.

Wilson also stated his office was "looking into" fast-acting doorstoppers that can actually lock a classroom door from the inside, and he noted a board member's recommendation to install a camera that would take pictures of license plates for every vehicle that comes onto school property.

Sachem Patch will report on Wilson's financial requests for the 2013-14 budget when those numbers are presented.

Brian January 18, 2013 at 02:16 AM
Is the discussion about arming teachers with something even taking place? Or, are most of the these new measures going to be reactive? How about certain admin and teachers get trained to use a stun gun or stun grenades? Any former law enforcement or military (or current military) working within the schools? Start with them. A few well placed stun grenades can potentially thwart an active shooter or buy some time. Not lethal, but creates enough of a disorientation to maybe get to a panic button or exit. Lock down drills also need to be done on an unscheduled basis as well. NJ is just implementing this with surprise lockdown drills.
Willaim January 18, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Part 1- Brian, while I agree that more PROACTIVE measures need to be in place, stun guns and grenades are not what is needed. Stun guns are a contact weapon and you need to be within arms distance. A Taser Gun can shoot about 10-15 feet but are rather inaccurate especially on a moving target and typically they come 1 shot or 2 shot. The grenade while a good thought takes a lot of training believe it or not. It's not just a pull, throw and forget. They can be big the safer varieties. They will stun everyone in the room and no one gets away. Plus anyone very close to the stun grenade can be injured or killed if say the 'shooter' kicks it away from him/her. Then he/she has a room of stunned people to shot, no chance to play dead or run away.
Willaim January 18, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Part 2- The arming of a couple of volunteer teachers with military background frist consideration is best. Plus the weapon they use can be applied safely. For instance a old style military 45 has a big slow bullet. Anything it hits, it stays in transferring all energy into a knockdown. But after 50 yards it drops fast & bounces around ankles. 9mm are small and fast can be be deadly to anyone behind a person shot or 80-90 yards away on a miss. A lot to think about but it needs to be done right. Oh BTW, gun magazines are now limited to 7 rounds by the Gov for even guards. Do you think bad guys will obey that law? Teachers & guards are outgunned before they start.

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