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October 28, 1999

[surveillance camera] [Sandia National Laboratories]

Sandia's School Security Handbook Hits the Web

Funding for a School Security Center at Sandia Looking Brighter

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- An increasingly popular school security handbook authored by a Sandia National Laboratories scientist is now available on the World Wide Web. It can be found at http://www.ncjrs.org/school/home.html.

At the same time, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) has announced House and Senate conferees have set the final spending levels for the Fiscal Year 2000 Commerce-Justice-State spending bill, including $1 million to fund the senator's proposal for establishment of a School Security Technology Center at Sandia, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national security laboratory.

The web handbook, "The Appropriate and Effective Use of Security Technologies in U.S. Schools," is a practical guide for school officials. A joint enterprise of Sandia, the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, and DOE, it outlines security technologies and proven techniques for combating school security problems.

The handbook's findings are based on a seven-year study by Sandia of more than 100 schools. It offers practical guidance on several aspects of security, including security concepts and operational issues, video surveillance, weapons-detection devices, entry codes, and duress alarms.

"Security technology can be tailored to meet the needs of an individual school," said DOE Secretary Bill Richardson. "We're putting the handbook on the web in an effort to reach the widest possible audience because this handbook puts proven techniques for combating school security problems in the hands of school administrators, school boards, and others who are facing decisions about school safety investments."

School security remains a top priority for school officials and parents alike as more school systems across the country rely on the latest high-tech tools to protect school children. School officials are adding high-resolution cameras, motion detectors, hand-held metal detectors, and bar-coded student ID cards in their arsenal of security measures.

About the hoped-for School Security Technology Center, Sen. Bingaman said it would be charged with testing school security technology available on the open market and performing custom-tailored security assessments for individual schools. Funding contained in the spending bill would help pay operating costs for the Center in FY2000.

"Although it wasn't the full amount I was hoping for, this funding marks a major step forward in the creation of the School Security Center. With this funding, we're saying to our kids that their safety is a top priority," Sen. Bingaman said.

"Sandia has already helped several schools, including Belen [N.M.] High School outside Albuquerque, improve safety and security on their campuses. The Center will bring that same expertise to more schools."

For more information about Sandia's School Security Initiatives see these World Wide Web sites:

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Media contact:
John German, jdgerma@sandia.gov, (505) 844-5199
Rod Geer, wrgeer@sandia.gov, (505) 844-6601

Technical contact:
Mary Green, mgreen@sandia.gov, (505) 844-7746
Gordon Smith, gjsmith@sandia.gov, (505) 844-2773

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