Town Heals and Remembers

Irving ISD Explains Its Security Procedures

School district's shows NBC 5 its security procedures

By Christine Lee
|  Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012  |  Updated 7:16 PM CDT
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The Irving Independent School District invited NBC 5 to John Haley Elementary School to show the security measures in place to keep students safe.

Christine Lee, NBC 5 Irving Reporter

The Irving Independent School District invited NBC 5 to John Haley Elementary School to show the security measures in place to keep students safe.

The Irving school district says it wants concerned parents to know that the district is and will continue to do everything possible to keep students safe.

Pat Lamb, director of school safety and operations, invited NBC 5 to John Haley Elementary on Tuesday for a comprehensive look at the school's security procedures.

"Remotely and by schedule, we can lock doors and unlock doors," he said. "At the front of the entrance, you'll see that these doors are locked and only the front right door is open."

The school has a secured vestibule, he said.

"We come to the door, it's locked," Lamb said. "I have to be buzzed in, and we come into the office."

More than 919,000 visitors have been scanned through its Raptor system since 2007. Of those, 186 visitors were registered sex offenders, many of them parents.

"When a registered sex offender is identified, it depends on the nature of the visit, but that person would not have unfettered access to the school," Lamb said. "They've not be able to go into the classroom, for instance."

Lamb said police and security officers are at every school every day, and the hallways and other high-traffic areas are monitored constantly.

The Irving Independent School District has more than 1,500 cameras inside and outside of its schools. They're motion-activated at night, and footage can be stored for days and be used for investigations as well as for potential evidence.

Like many schools, John Haley Elementary has emergency drills on a regular basis.

Lamb said he hoped that anyone with second thoughts about the school's security system would a have peace of mind knowing that the school district is utilizing the best security measures possible to protect their children.

"What happened in Connecticut could happen anywhere," he said. "I could happen here. We recognize that, so every day we think about what it takes to keep kids safe."

Lamb also said all of the classrooms throughout the district are locked during instruction times. Irving's chief of police also assigned officers to be present at every school for arrival and dismissal this week.

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