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'Panic buttons' to be installed at Glendale schools for security

February 23, 2013 |  7:26 am

Glendale Unified School District officials announced plans to beef up security measures at campuses district wide.

At the school board meeting this week, officials said they plan to equip all schools with security cameras. Reception areas at all 30 campuses will also get "panic buttons" that make direct emergency calls to 911 with a single push, said Alan Reising, an administrator of district facilities.

Officials also want to create a single entry point at all elementary schools.

The district-wide security discussion began after the mid-December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut that left 20 children and six adults dead before the shooter took his own life.

But Glendale Unified has had its own scares in recent months

In late December, a man was arrested after allegedly simulating firing a weapon at passing cars outside Glenoaks Elementary School. No weapons were found on the man.

Then in early January, an anonymous caller phoned in a bomb threat at R.D. White Elementary, prompting the evacuation of 880 students. The campus was eventually cleared, and no arrest has been made.

“Unfortunately, we’ve also had some real-life experiences,” said Assistant Supt. Katherine Fundukian Thorossian. “We’ve learned lessons through it.”

Glendale school officials have since coordinated with city officials and police on school security policies.

“I think on a daily basis, if we stay ready, then we don’t have to get ready,” Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz told the school board on Tuesday.

Glendale police are provided with each school’s floor plans, he added.

“If something goes down, we know how we’re going to get in and we know how we’re going to get out,” Lorenz said.

-- Kelly Corrigan, Times Community News