The New Norm in Security

Elyse Ganss

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Recently, while listening to a discussion about life in Biology class, one student interrupted our teacher and exclaimed, “There’s someone looking inside the door’s window!”

Our teacher walked towards the window, opened the door, and simply stated, “It’s a just a police officer.”

While everyone else focused back on the discussion, I started thinking about why there was an officer at school. In the past I might see one of our town’s finest at a special assembly or in the hallway speaking with one of the administrators or even because the officer was someone’s parents, but never before have the police randomly stopped by.

I soon forgot about the police officer, but a week later, a different officer popped his head into my math class and stated, “Is everything alright in here?”

We all nodded, happy for a distraction from Uniform Motion problems. Little did we know that visits from the men in blue would become a common occurrence at Pascack Hills High School.

After the recent events in our neighboring states like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last December in Newtown, Connecticut, as well as the Boston Marathon bombing last April in Massachusetts, it is reassuring to know that new precautions are being taken and enforced at Pascack Hills.

On October 4th, 2013, PHHS conducted an evacuation drill, during which K-9 police dogs entered the school and checked for drugs school-wide.

The drug sweep is just one example of the new measures that has been initiated to help protect the school’s faculty, administration, and students.

It’s become commonplace to see police officers roam about the building, offering a friendly wave or a smile to those they pass.

As a police officer for 25, PHHS’s new security officer, Cormack McGowen, known to staff and students as “Mac,” knows the importance of maintaining a safe school environment.

Mac explained that he “monitors people who come into the building as well as watch and record any suspicious activity.” He came to Hills in September after working at Pascack Valley for five months last school year. Since he worked at our sister school, he is familiar with the procedures and plans that have been put in place.

The change PHHS has seen in the last few months is remarkable and has helped its students and staff feel safe and secure. Although recent national events such as the Sandy Hook tragedy are frightening to think about, they have helped raise the bar for security levels. Whenever students walk into school, they know that there are effective safety measures in place to protect them.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email