District Updates School Security
Stevens Point Police Detective Tony Zblewski (right) with School Superintendent Attila Weninger. (City-Times Photo)
By Donnelly Clare
The Stevens Point School Board on Monday voted to upgrade the district’s security at a cost of more than $400,000.
Building and Grounds Director Don Keck said the updates would improve police response time in the event of an emergency, pointing to past tragedies like Columbine and Virginia Tech where it took police several minutes to arrive on the scene. Keck, who serves on the district’s safety and security team, said he wants to prepare area schools for the worst by keeping students and staff safe as long as possible.
“The whole idea is to keep the bad person outside until the cavalry arrives,” Keck said during a presentation of the proposed safety upgrades. “When minutes mean everything, that’s fundamental.”
Along with colored lanyards and vests identifying various department staff members, additional swipe card entrances, updated wireless emergency communication and installing gun lockers in police liaison offices, Keck also suggested installing a special kind of safety film which helps stave off an intruder’s ability to break through window glass.
The Safety and Security Team had been studying various elements of safety within the district’s building for several months. Everything from fire alarms and safety equipment in science labs to the very worst possible emergency, such as a school shooting, was considered.
The team includes Don Keck, district buildings and grounds manager, maintenance supervisor Mark Krutza, Jessica Champion, principal at Bannach Elementary School, Len Luedtke, Assistant Principal at SPASH and Steven Prokop, Assistant Principal at Ben Franklin Junior High School along with various police liaison officers at local schools.