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East Stroudsburg School District police patrol schools

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 13 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 15 2013 05:26:13 AM CST

School security has been a hot topic lately especially in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -

School security has been a hot topic lately especially in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Days after the shooting, the NRA recommended armed guards at every school in America. One Monroe County school system already has its own police department.

Officer Robert Sutter "eyes" the halls of East Stroudsburg's South High School while Ken Livingston spies just about everything else. He uses a series of video cameras stationed inside and outside every school in the district.

What are they looking for?

"Anything strange in the parking lot or an individual standing out front and not entering the building. Anything suspicious,"Livingston said, while looking at the monitors.

The two are part of East Stroudsburg Area School District's Police Department.

"You said this is harder than any job you had at the Bethlehem Police Department?" Bo asked Chief Fred Mill.

"It's different," he said while walking down the halls. "It's different type of policing but believe me it is a lot of work on a constant basis everyday," he added.

The district created the department five years ago to oversee its 10 schools and 7,200 students.

The district says so far the seven cops and 18 security guards that make up the department are budget friendly but as of now the six elementary schools don't use security guards.

"We had an officer from Baltimore City Police, we had an officer that was New York Housing Police," Mill explained while looking at patches on the wall that highlight the past of former and present officers.

Mill says each officer has the same certification as a city cop and the security guards are highly trained too.

Livingston is a former corrections officer at the State Penitentiary at Rikers Island, New York.

"What does your police department do to prevent an Adam Lanza from getting into the school?" Bo asked.

"Like we said target hardening and my officers' job is to make sure every day the school is locked up tight," Mill answered.

Which includes working with the state and regional police. District Superintendent Sharon Laverdure calls it the key to school safety.

"Cause one person can't do it alone it has to be a partnership to keep folk safe," she said.