School Safety Upgrades and Changes Roundup: Utah Hires Its 1st Security Chief

Here’s a summary of some of the improvements and changes being made to the security measures at schools around the nation.

School Safety Upgrades and Changes Roundup: Utah Hires Its 1st Security Chief

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Utah has hired its first State Security Chief, Matt Pennington. The position was created by HB61, which was approved in last year’s legislative session, reports KSL. Pennington’s first order of business will be to develop a statewide standard for school safety. Standardization will enable students to not have to learn new school safety protocols when they switch districts, Pennington says.

The state’s school safety standardization will apply to school building construction, design, training, drills, communication, emergency notification, infrastructure assessments, threat assessments/management, and equipment. Pennington will coordinate with the Utah State Board of Education, law enforcement, schools, districts, and others in the state.

In Oregon, the Forest Grove School Board has approved the purchase of a first wave of security camera upgrades. The price tag of the video surveillance equipment and installation will be nearly $530,000, reports the Forest Grove News Times.

Convergint, a security systems integrator, has been working with the district to conduct assessments of the school grounds, taking into account the cameras that are already installed. Nearly $367,000 will be spent on video surveillance upgrades at Forest Grove High School, $95,500 at Fern Hill Elementary, and more than $65,000 at Gales Creek.

In Connecticut, Sliney Elementary School inducted seven students into its new student safety patrol, reports Zip06.

Meanwhile, in Tennessee, the McKeesport Area School District has decided to sever ties with security company Homeland Intelligence and Protective Services, reports WPXI. The contract security company submitted its resignation to the school board on January 11 after allegations surfaced that a security officer employed by the company had a sexual relationship with a student.

Alexis Brown, 24, has been charged for having the relationship, as well as having a stolen gun in her apartment.

Homeland Intelligence and Protective Services will continue to provide security patrols of the district for the next 60 days until another company can take its place.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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