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Northampton Area High School shows off security measures after police issue guidelines

By Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 11 2013 09:49:44 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 12 2013 05:44:55 AM CST

Some local schools already meet requirements suggested by police

NORTHAMPTON, Pa. -

Pennsylvania State Police released a school safety report Tuesday offering guidelines for school administrators to consider implementing to make their schools safer.

69 News visited Northampton Area High School Wednesday and Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik showed security features in place at the school.

Many of the recommendations in the state police report are in place at the school.

"What we try to do is be as proactive as possible and reduce any chance of violence that can occur. Now can you ever do that 100 percent? It's difficult, but we can try everything in our power to make sure we minimize any type of issues that can occur," said Kovalchik.

The school has about 90 cameras, inside and outside, that are monitored in a security office at the front of the school.

It's an extensive process to get inside the building with a couple layers of locked doors and a security guard to get through.

"We have our own police force, our own area police force of two armed police officers, seven security guards," said Kovalchik.  "Each one of our buildings has a building security team and they meet monthly and specific staff members have specific responsibilities if there would be an emergency situation."

The district has several other safeguards in place. Upgrading a school's security system is not cheap, though.

"When you have all these things in place, which you need, it costs money," said Kovalchik. "You have to make sure you monitor your expenses in a reasonable way so you make sure you have a secure environment for your staff and your students."

December 14th marks the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings and a reminder of the reality schools face in this day and age.

"I don't know if you're ever fully on the top of security issues and safety issues in today's world, especially in the world of public education," said Kovalchik.

"We truly believe for education to take place that if a child or anyone, one of our staff members, doesn't feel totally secure, safe, we're not sure how much learning is going to take place."