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News Release

October 29, 1998

New National School Security Technology Center based at Sandia

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., announced on Thursday, Oct. 29, establishment of a new national center of expertise in school security technology, to be based at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque.

[Bingaman at Hayes school]
SAFER SCHOOLS -- Sandia National Laboratories security technology expert Mary Green shows Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and two students of Hayes Middle School in Albuquerque a small camera that can help improve safety and security on school campuses. During the Oct. 29 event at Hayes, Mary and other Sandia security analysts demonstrated a variety of technologies useful for schools. (Photo by Randy Montoya)
Download 150dpi JPEG image, 'BingScho.jpg', 1MB

The initiative seeks to make the nation's school grounds safer for thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students by improving security on hundreds of school campuses. Efforts to improve school security have intensified following recent shootings at campuses across the country.

Funding to establish the School Security Technology Center is included in the FY99 spending bill as part of Department of Justice appropriations. Sandia, a Department of Energy (DOE) research and development laboratory, will be invited to apply for the $1.4 million around the first of the calendar year. Bingaman first introduced legislation to create the Center in February, 1998.

The announcement was made at Albuquerque's Hayes Middle School. Following Sen. Bingaman's remarks, a Sandia security technology expert demonstrated to a group of students examples of technologies useful for improving security at the nation's schools, including hand-held metal detectors, microdots for marking school equipment, cameras, sensors, drug-detection swipes, and self-expiring visitor ID badges.

The Center will draw on Sandia's decades of experience designing and evaluating security systems as part of its DOE mission to protect materials vital to U.S. national security. In recent years, Sandia has applied that experience to deterring crime on school campuses and protecting school assets from vandalism and theft using proven technologies and sound security principles.

In the spring of 1996, Sandia security technology experts advised Belen (NM) High School administrators, parents, teachers, and students on technologies and approaches that would most effectively address a variety of problems at the school, then helped the school implement the changes over the summer. By the following summer, the school reported a 90 percent decrease in vandalism and theft, 75 percent fewer fights on campus, and 95 percent fewer false fire alarms, among other improvements. Since then Sandia has advised administrators at dozens of other New Mexico schools and at more than 100 schools nationwide.

Establishment of the School Security Technology Center will allow Sandia to expand its programs to train school administrators and help schools choose security technologies and measures that most effectively deter crime and protect school assets.

Sandia is a multiprogram Department of Energy laboratory operated by Lockheed Martin Corp. Sandia has R&D programs contributing to national defense, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness. Its home page is located at http://www.sandia.gov

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

Sen. Bingaman media contacts:
Kooch Jacobus, (505) 346-6601
Ken Gonzales, (202) 224-5521

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