Two years after Parkland, campus security is key

Cameron Perry– Mustangs Ahead

Manatee Sheriffs SRO Paul Harris helps ensure campus security.

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – February 14, 2020 marks the two-year anniversary of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fl. Since this tragic event, school security has changed dramatically for the better.

At LRHS officials have added more security cameras, put a policy to keep all doors locked, and in order to enter the school visitors must be buzzed in. Teachers are also taught how to keep students safe in case of an emergency.

“Before the shooting we were able to leave campus if we needed to, now we must be on campus every school day from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.,” said Manatee Sheriffs Schools Resource Officer (SRO) Paul Harris.

The most effective and dramatic change has been the Guardian Program. This is a new state program that adds more eyes and ears to schools. The program is made up of retired law enforcement officers who can come back and do what they love, which is to protect.

“We’re constantly walking around to make sure the students are safe, because we are in charge of making sure that they are able to get the education they seek,” said LRHS guardian Louis Cruz.

FortifyFL is a suspicious activity reporting tool that allows people to instantly relay information to appropriate law enforcement agencies and school officials; it is both an app and a website.

Harris said they have gotten more tips than ever this year; this means that they can stop events before they take place. Although most the tips that they receive don’t lead to a real threat, they check all of them to ensure safety.

Although Parkland was a horrible event that happened, it helped teach schools across America important lessons on safety.

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