By Shelby Stewart
Brandon Elementary schools now have new security personnel in the buildings.
When students came back from spring break, both Harvey Swanson and Oakwood elementary schools implemented new security guards at the front doors.
“Parents come to the door and they are screened by the security official, they can see them eye to eye, speak to them through the intercom, check IDs, verify that they’re on the emergency list, and then greet them and help them figure out where they need to go,” said District Superintendent Dr. Matt Outlaw.
The security guard at Harvey Swanson was given to the district free for two months from DM Burr.
The company also employs the custodial staff in the schools. At Oakwood, the security guard is from Premier Security, which is a company that specializes in school security and employs retired police officers.
“You’re not going to get anyone in here that doesn’t have, I’d say, at minimum 15 years of law enforcement experience,” said Premier Security Owner Dave Forystek at the board meeting on Monday night. “And most of my staff is retired, so you’re talking 20, 25 years of law enforcement experience.”
Outlaw plans that starting for the 2018-2019 school year, the district would like to have a security guard at the middle school as well. The high school already has the police liaison officer and some security that would stay the same.
“It’s been very positive from parents, and they appreciate that we’re being more proactive,” said Outlaw. “We want to make our school safer, not make them appear safer. We want to put ourselves in the best position to be safe.”