Board to hire se­cu­rity guard at high school

The Community Connection - - LOCAL NEWS - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

BOYERTOWN >> The Boyertown School Board voted unan­i­mously Sept. 25 to hire a pri­vate se­cu­rity guard for Boyertown Area Se­nior High School.

At its Sept. 25 meet­ing, the board voted to hire an ad­di­tional se­cu­rity guard from Ad­vanced Pro­tec­tion Co. to work in the high school.

Ac­cord­ing to the mo­tion, the dis­trict al­ready con­tracts with the com­pany for other se­cu­rity needs “and they have con­tin­u­ally pro­vided ex­cel­lent ser­vice.”

The cost of the ad­di­tional guard $23 per hour, eight hours per day, for 180 days at a to­tal of $33,120. Board Vice Pres­i­dent Steve Elsier praised the move, say­ing it is part of the board’s long-range ef- forts “to look for ways to make our schools safer.”

He said, “when you’ve added 20 or 30 cam­eras at the high school, there proved to be a need to have some­one watch those cam­eras.”

Elsier also praised the “added se­cu­rity at the front doors. That is a very ac­tive area.”

The dis­trict’s fo­cus on in­creased se­cu­rity came in the wake of the school shoot­ings in Park­land, Flor­ida and were put into stark re­lief Me­mo­rial Day week­end when ru­mors of a shoot­ing threat against the 9th grade roiled the dis­trict.

The threat turned out to be “not cred­i­ble,” but par­ents and stu­dents nev­er­the­less crit­i­cized the man­ner in which the ad­min­is­tra­tion kept — or failed — to keep the com­mu­nity in­formed. At the time, As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent Mary­beth Tor­cia said the dis­trict en­gaged an ex­pert, a for­mer em­ployee of the U.S. Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity, who had helped craft the dis­trict’s se­cu­rity plan which, she said, will be put into place in three phases.

She said the school board ap­proved spend­ing more than $300,000 on the plan, which in­cludes “phys­i­cal plant up­grades” like cam­eras and other items she did not think it pru­dent to de­tail.

Tor­cia also said the doors at the high school will be fit­ted with alarms, to pre­vent stu­dents open­ing them at in­ap­pro­pri­ate times to let peo­ple into the build­ing.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Par­ents and stu­dents lined up to speak at a town hall meet­ing in June called in the wake of a threat at Boyertown High School on Me­mo­rial Day week­end.

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