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Glendale schools increasing security

After several recent incidents, the school board moves to equip all schools with security cameras and panic buttons, among other measures.

February 24, 2013|By Kelly Corrigan, Los Angeles Times
  • During the Jan. 7 evacuation of R.D. White Elementary in Glendale, third-grader Tobe Gragasin, 8, is released to his mother, Myra Gragasin. The bomb threat was among the reasons the school board has decided to increase security throughout the district.
During the Jan. 7 evacuation of R.D. White Elementary in Glendale, third-grader… (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times )

Glendale Unified School District officials have announced plans to bolster security measures at campuses districtwide.

At a school board meeting last week, officials said they plan to equip all schools with security cameras. Reception areas at all 30 campuses will also get "panic buttons" that make direct emergency calls to 911 with a single push, said Alan Reising, an administrator of district facilities.

Officials also want to create a single entry point at all elementary schools.

The districtwide security discussion began after the mid-December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and six adults dead before the shooter took his own life.

Glendale Unified has had its own scares in recent months

In late December, a man was arrested after allegedly simulating firing a weapon at passing cars outside Glenoaks Elementary School. No weapons were found on the man.

In early January, an anonymous caller phoned in a bomb threat to R.D. White Elementary, prompting the evacuation of 880 students. The campus was eventually cleared, and no arrest has been made.

"Unfortunately, we've also had some real-life experiences," said Assistant Supt. Katherine Fundukian Thorossian. "We've learned lessons through it."

Glendale school officials have since coordinated with city officials and police on school security policies.

"I think on a daily basis, if we stay ready, then we don't have to get ready," Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz told the school board Tuesday.

Glendale police have the floor plans for each school', he added.

"If something goes down, we know how we're going to get in and we know how we're going to get out," Lorenz said.

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