LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Ahead of the start of the 2022-23 school year on August 8, the Clark County School District is spotlighting some recent security improvements after a year marred by reports of violence in local schools.
"We have worked overtime to complete safety upgrades and installations over the summer, and this work will continue so that every student in every school can focus on their academic success," Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara stated in a prepared news release.
The district outlined a number of improvements rolled out over the summer break, including:
Instant Alert System
A pilot program testing the Centegix CrisisAlert system is in the works at a number of CCSD campuses, district officials said. The system equips each employee with a badge that allows them to instantly notify school safety officers in a time of crisis. The badges can be used to send an alert for a "low-level incident" or to initiate a hard lockdown, the district says.
CCSD started the instant alert pilot prgram at nine school campuses over the summer. Notably, it was put in place at Eldorado High School, the site of a brutal attack on a teacher that was met by outrage and calls for enhanced security measures.
The instant alert systems cost approximately $11,000 per campus, according to CCSD, and are being paid for with ESSER III funds.
There will be changes to fencing and traffic flow on campuses as schools enforce a single point of entry, district officials said. Changes in that regard will continue throughout the 2022-23 school year. The district is also working to upgrade to 4K security cameras on campuses, officials noted.
CCSD Police recently engages in an active assailant training with other local law enforcement, officials said, noting that such trainings "have been going on for more than two decades."
Officials said two police officers would be assigned to each high school and one officer would be assigned to each middle school. The department has 175 officers to assign to 154 middle and high schools district-wide, though officials have emphasized recruiting through improving staff benefits and pay in recent months.
Each campus has an emergency response plan that is reviewed yearly with principals, emergency management and school police, according to CCSD. The district also requires all employees to complete annual required training courses, including "refresher lessons" on emergency responses at school.
CCSD is upgrading onboard cameras on all of the nearly 2,000 buses in the district’s fleet, officials said. They say the upgraded camera system will "allow for more efficient video storage and real-time monitoring capabilities for CCSD Transportation Investigators."
“Better behavior results when cameras exist and they play a critical role in the safety plans for our schools and on our buses," Jara stated.
Officials noted that, while all buses have operating camera systems, approximately 60% have been upgraded for the start of the 2022-23 school year. CCSD expects all systems will be upgraded by the beginning of the second semester. The district noted the new camera systems are being bought from Safety Vision using approximately $6 million in bond funds.