Security grant to fund improvements


Concord High School has been issued a $755,000 grant to combat issues regarding school safety.
Some of the money will be spent on installing both interior and exterior cameras and on a new access control system, according to Principal Tom Sica.
Concord High Schools resource officer Mark Hassapes said he is glad to see new measures. “I’ve been pushing for cameras since I’ve been here and for many reasons it just has not happened.”
Many of the reasons had to do with cost.
While cameras and access controls may help, Sica said what really keeps the student body safe is the fact that Concord High has a very strong community already.
“Cameras and locked doors are not what keep you safe. Instead we all create that sense of safety for each other and I never want to see that culture go away,” he said.
Concord High is putting up interior and exterior cameras to keep a good view on what is going on around campus. Some of these cameras may be monitored regularly, but for the most part they will be used to waste less time solving problems that are easily taken care of with a look at the tape.
More than anything, said Hassapes, he hopes the cameras “will be a deterrence of criminal activity.”
The planned access control system will impact all entrances. All staff members will be supplied with access cards that will be used when entering and leaving  the building. The system will also be able to sound alarms for doors left propped open and lock and unlock doors on a set timer.
Parents and guests visiting the building will be requested to insert an ID to give the school a better knowledge of who they are letting into the building. This will show any background information that may give reason to not allow them access.
Students have voiced concern about being able to come in and out of the building and being able to easily enjoy the courtyard.
Sica said the campus will stay accessible and that students still will have access to the courtyard during passing times and lunches. Further details are being worked out.
All installations plan to be completed for the coming fall. Students will be informed about new practices and policies at the start of the 2018-2019 school year.