Security measures for all of the Smithtown Central School District schools are being updated.
Superintendent Anthony Annunziato announced during Tuesday's Board of Education meeting that security changes are possible, including hiring an outside security consultant.
"The purpose of the consultant is to give us an expert view of are we using our resources in the best way? Are there things that we can do – that we can financially – to enhance or improve security?" Annunziato said in a phone interview Wednesday.
The superintendent met with a consultant from the Applied Science Foundation for Homeland Security in December, a meeting he set up prior to the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy where 20 children, six adults and a shooter were found dead. Aside from heightening security, emergency and disaster plans were also discussed during the meeting.
Annunziato said he will have a proposal for the board concerning the consultant and security measure updates at the first February board meeting, possibly sooner if the proposal could be completed before the Jan. 22 board meeting.
"I was a high school principal when Columbine took place and they transformed security in the district I was in," Annunziato said Wednesday. "It’s one of the things I believe that when you go into a district you need to evaluate, the security measures. It was on my radar no matter what."
One change Annunziato has already made to the security measures is the pushing up of Phase 3 of the district's 24-hour indoor and outdoor surveillance camera installation.
Phase 3 is the installation of the cameras at all of the elementary schools in the district. This was to be completed over the summer for the 2013-14 school year but Annunziato said installation should be completed in two weeks.
Phase 1, which was installing cameras at the district office "command center," and Phase 2, which was installing cameras at the middle schools and high schools, have already been completed.
Mobile security patrol, which was implemented immediately following the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, is still in place and there is no timeline on when it will stop.
"We will keep the mobile patrols until the cameras are in place and for the consultant’s recommendations," Annunziato said.
Are you satisfied with the district's attention to heightening security in the schools? Let us know in the comments.