By John German
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Theft, vandalism, drugs, and violence on US school campuses have principals, parents, and law enforcement officials wondering what they can do to make their schools safer for students during the coming school year. That's why when roll is called July 26 in Dallas at a Sandia-hosted summer short course on school security, at least two educators from each state in the country will be present.
Conference organizer Mary Green (5861) says as many as 200 educators and school security professionals are expected to attend the three-day workshop July 26-28 at the DFW Airport, called "Security Technologies for School Safety."
"School crime is a concern of every family in America -- including mine," says Mary. "This conference can provide educators with a variety of security approaches that could help them deal with security problems they face every day, which can make schools better places to learn."
For 102 of the participants, two from every state plus D.C., it's an all-expense-paid chance to learn about the latest in security technologies and strategies from some of the top experts in the field, courtesy of the workshop's sponsors: the National Institute of Justice, the Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools program, DOE, and Sandia.
Workshop participants will learn about basic strategies that contribute to safer schools; get tutorials about the uses, costs, and maintenance requirements of security technologies available to schools; discuss with experts appropriate and inappropriate uses of security technologies in schools; and hear from educators who have improved the security of their own schools.
Among the non-technology-related topics to be discussed are: campus cleanliness, student uniforms, mediation, crime-reporting hotlines, crisis-intervention programs, drug dogs, bomb threats, school layouts, and legal issues.
Technologies to be discussed include cameras and recording systems, weapon-screening systems, radios and communications, intrusion-detection systems, duress alarms, ID badging systems, entry-control systems, and drug-use detection kits.
On July 27, exhibits and product demonstrations by more than 50 security technology vendors will complement the workshop sessions.
The sessions are presented by technology experts, federal officials concerned with school safety, and school and police personnel. They are designed for individuals without technical backgrounds.
Security strategies for schools
"We're looking forward to discussing the latest in security and safety efforts in schools," says Paul Schultz, Chief of Police of the La Vista, Neb., Police Department. "This conference is an outstanding opportunity for professionals from both the education and law enforcement disciplines to meet and try to work out a strategy that will make our school system safer."
Schultz says the La Vista PD works actively with the Papillion-La Vista School District on several security-related programs, including a school resource officer program, school security surveys, tabletop security exercises with administrators, vehicle and locker drug searches on request, and ready access to school maps and school crisis plans in every squad car.
Sandia's School Security Technologies and Resource (SSTAR) Center serves as an independent adviser to administrators and school security professionals. It draws on Sandia's decades of experience designing security systems as part of its mission to protect materials vital to US national security.
Last modiŞed: July 18, 2000
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