Improving School Security

Among the many issues raised by the shooting, what can be done to make schools safer?

Officials have learned some lessons from past incidents and are now using those procedures in the newest schools.

"It makes it very real when it happens this close to you and it makes people wonder am I safe," Elkhorn South Principal Mark Kalvoda said.

Area schools have beefed up security at schools in recent years

Resource officers are now assigned to area schools.

There are additional resource officers at three Douglas County High Schools (Elkhorn South, Millard West and Horizon) and other deputies are making regular visits to two middle schools (Beadle and Russell).

Visitors can no longer walk freely into a school. At newer schools like Elkhorn South, they have to go through the office first.

"That was done by design it came out of meeting from our architect this year, I believe its in place in some other schools where you see that you have to enter through the office in this building you do not have access to the rest of the building," Kalvoda said.

Other changes include an increased use of cameras. Elkhorn South has 64 in all --- 40 pointing inside the building.

Constant evaluation is another measure.

"The first thing we asked our officers was what did Millard South learn and we hope that our deputies are privy to that information at some point," Kalvoda said. "I think Millard South did an excellent job from everything we've heard but I think when you go through something like this, you always find a way that's better."

But there are also thoughts of caution.

"One of the things that we have to be conscious of is not jumping too far ahead of ourselves, jumping to conclusions about what can be done and what might have or might not have been done in the past. ," Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes said. "We really need to analyze this and make sure that the moves we make are the right moves, the ones that are needed and are effective."

"When you start talking about metal detectors you start talking about bars on the windows now you are making your public facilities almost prisons," Millard School Board President Mike Pate said. "Is that the type of public schools that we want in our community? I think what we really need to do is address the roots of the problems. what are creating the problems."

Omaha police officers are also keeping close by schools inside the city limits to help insure safety.

Metal detectors have been used recently at some after school events like high school basketball games.


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