School Security Improvements

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

February 22, 2006

Even though a planned attack against Albemarle County Schools was thwarted, officials are beefing up security surrounding the schools.

Since events around the country and now events in our backyard have unfolded, safety in schools has become a priority. For this reason, Albemarle County is moving forward with measures that will make schools safer. Some of the measures are as simply as a list of Internet Safety tips that parents can discuss with their children.

"We are really looking at ways that again can enhance what is already a very good environment of trust and communication," said Albemarle School Board Chair Sue Friedman.

The school system is employing two specific measures they hope will make a difference. First, they are hiring a threat assessment expert to review crisis prevention measures. Second, they are expanding and upgrading security cameras in schools. But Friedman says, one of the main deterrents in visibility.

"We have asked them to put their cars right in front of the building so it is obvious that we do have a safety expert and a law enforcement resource on the campus," she said.

All of these goals have one goal in mind.

"Our number one goal is to make certain that our staff and students are safe 100 percent of the time, every minute they are in the school," Friedman said.

Albemarle is not the only one thinking about school safety. Charlottesville City also employed four school research officers, two others at Buford and Walker middle schools.

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