Mt. View board debates security measures

BY TOM FONTANA

Mountain View school board continues to consider measures to improve security at the district’s schools.

Late last fall, maintenance director Robert Taylor presented the board with cost estimates from three architectural firms for an upgrade of building alarm systems.  The board has not acted on his results.

When he approached the board with his findings again at its meeting Monday night, Feb. 4, board member Roy Twining questioned why an architectural firm should be hired to create the specifications.

“An alarm company should do the specifications,” he suggested.  “That’s what they do, that’s their specialty.  A security company should tell us what we need.”

“We need to tell the security company what we need and want,” Taylor replied.  “The  architectural firm would come in and write the specs that would then be put out for bid to an alarm company.”

Taylor added that the existing alarm system at the high school that detects if a door is propped open had been inactive, and now has been “turned on.”

The board took no action on the cost estimate for bid specifications presented by Taylor.

The board also heard a presentation by Corporal Jeff Burman of the State Police Gibson barracks on the School Resource Officer (SR0) program.

“I did a walk-through at both of your buildings to do a security assessment,” Burman said.  “There are areas for improvement, but I can’t discuss them in public.”

He described the SRO program as an opportunity for law enforcement, students, parents and school officials to work together.

“It also helps for everyone to have a greater understanding of the role of law enforcement in the school,” he added.

He said an SRO officer could be in the school for as many days or hours that the school district wanted to pay for.

“The cost may seem substantial,” he stated, “but you get what you pay for.”

Board member Elwood Williams asked, “Where would the money for an SRO come from?  If the expense was borne by the school district, it would be prohibitive.”