GISD enhances security, safety
A portion of the 2014 bond was allocated to the improvement of security at Garland ISD campuses and Security Director Pat Lamb and Security Coordinator Keith Chapman recently provided a security update to the district’s board of trustees. Some of the enhancements are completed and others are ongoing.
The public announcement system at each GISD campus will be updated and, among other improvements, will include adding more exterior speakers so that staff and students can hear all announcements whether inside or outside the building. Districtwide paging will be available so that principals will have the ability to use their phones to make announcements remotely. Security dispatch will also be able to access campus public announcement systems to alert staff and students of emergencies.
The telephone system will be a part of the district’s electronic network and will include enhanced capabilities that alert security personnel when 911 is dialed. It will also display the campus name, telephone extension number and room number from which the call was placed. Additionally, there will be less hardware and maintenance and operation costs will be reduced.
In addition, cameras will be connected to the network which will improve the resolution of security footage. An increased amount of footage will be stored as well.
Enhancements also include improved control of building access. Door contacts will be added to alert security personnel when doors are propped open during the day and evening. For added protection against intruders, alert buttons will be installed in the office that automatically send a message to the security dispatcher telling them to call 911. The alert button also triggers a voice announcement that advises staff and students of the appropriate action.
Secure vestibules will be added in every school. Visitors will enter the door from the building exterior into a secure locked-in area where they can be seen by office staff. At that point, staff can make a decision to grant access or not.
The fire sprinkler systems will be expanded and instead of a fire alarm sound, there will be voice prompts to direct staff and students on proper actions. Fire drills will continue to help students learn the appropriate actions. Additionally, because there are various kinds of threats, from natural disasters to man-made violence, lockdown and shelter drills are also being emphasized.
Garland ISD currently has 47 Student Resource Officers and that program will be under the direction of the Security Department.