Dallas ISD Proposed Security Upgrades after Sandy Hook Elementary Incident
Dallas Chief of Police, Craig Miller, has proposed installing cameras, buzzers and electronic card readers at all 150 elementary schools to increase campus safety, after reviewing security protocol since December. Officers discovered that Dallas elementary schools lacked security cameras, metal detectors and on-duty police officers.
Miller said, “Side doors were found propped open, allowing anyone to walk in. Visitors could enter front doors unnoticed. School employees couldn’t track people within the building.”
These upgrades are estimated to cost $4.65 million, and district officials want to use money from a $1.3 billion bond program that voters approved in 2008. DISD spokesman, Joh Dahlander, stated, “$40 million of that amount [$1.3 billion] hasn’t been spent.”
This proposal will go to the Dallas school board for discussion and if approved, upgrades would be installed by the start of the 2013-2014 school year.
Miller and 15 DISD police officers offered their recommendations for each elementary school:
- Install a buzzer system at the front door, with an intercom and color camera, requiring school personnel to unlock the door;
- Add electronic card readers at all side doors, allowing only DISD staff to enter;
- Install a camera video recording system triggered by motion; and
- Install one-way peepholes on all of the portable buildings, allowing people in the building to see outside during a lockdown.
While these recommendations would indeed make schools safer, Miller did caution that to prevent a shooting similar to what took place in Newtown, Conn., is a challenge due to the fact that the gunman forced his way into the school, despite a buzzer system and a locked front door.
Miller spoke to this point, “Sandy Hook didn’t have problems at their schools. They ran drills and were prepared, but no one is ready for a raging lunatic willing to die for a cause. It’s forced us to go out and look and make us better. We will be better prepared to protect ourselves.”