School Corp. spends $380K on new safety features

Courtesy of Tecumseh High School

The new AirPhone system people who visit Warrick County School Corp. buildings will have to now use to enter them.

The Warrick County School Corp. has added security and safety in their buildings, to coincide with the start of the new school year.

Just this past summer, they have spent roughly $380,000 on new technologies to make the schools safer, including a new buzz in system. They've also added two new school safety officers and a partnership with the Warrick County Sheriff's Office is helping to allocate additional overtime for officers to work in the schools.

"The WCSC has spent over $80,000 on AirPhones and the new buzz in system at our schools this summer," said Brad Schneider, Warrick County School Corp. superintendent. "We also spent $100,000 replacing old security cameras and purchasing additional cameras. These cameras are digital and the resolution is so much better than the old cameras."

The superintendent said they also spent $150,000 replacing and adding servers for their cameras and security systems this summer and $50,000 on the new school resource officers.

"So, the WCSC has spent over $380,000 just this summer in upgrades to school security," Schneider said.

Schneider said currently 15 out of the 18 schools have had the new video system installed.

"We have Newburgh and Tennyson Elementary schools to finish up by this December. Newburgh already has a buzz in system so we already have a pretty good line of sight there," he said. "And then the Warrick Education Center will be next year because we are going to re-work the entrance, so it's more than just putting in the video system."

Anyone who enters any of the school corp.'s buildings will now have to identify themselves first through the AirPhone, before they are allowed inside of the building.

"We know it can be a little inconvenient for the parents as it takes a little longer to get buzzed in," Schneider said. "But, we ask for patience."

He also said he is excited about the two new school safety officers they were able to add to their roster this year.

"The Warrick County Council has budgeted additional money to pay the Warrick County Sheriff's Office officers overtime pay so they can spend additional time in the schools," Schneider said.

He said these officers will be assigned periodically and will not be employed by the school corp.

"We are going to have a much greater law enforcement presence in the schools," Schneider said. "We are very thankful to the county for our working relationship with them and that they have invested in school safety in the school corp."

Schneider said having law enforcement officers in the school during the school day just adds to their level of safety measures.

"Anything we can do to keep our kids safe is our goal," he said. "And that's why we are very appreciative they are willing to do that. And we welcome the officers into the schools."

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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