I hope you and your family are enjoying today's snow day. Today, I am writing to provide an update on the school police officers within the school district and let you know about the proposed next step in keeping your child safe while in the care of the school district.
As you may recall, Officer Dean West was scheduled to begin working as a full-time police officer for the Westmont Hilltop Elementary School in January, however, he has decided to remain with the West Hills Regional Police Department as they onboard a new police chief in February. We respect his loyalty to his fellow officers and appreciate his ongoing support of our school district. The district will continue to provide police coverage at both the elementary school with part-time officers and the secondary school with our full-time police officer, Officer Hunter.
In addition to this update, we would like you to know about the proposed use of the OpenGate Concealed Weapons Detectors in our schools. Not to be confused with the use of metal detectors, the weapon detection system by CEIA USA is intended to be a non-intrusive weapons screener capable of screening large crowds in a short amount of time. The detectors are intended to screen students as they enter the school building for objects with the physical characteristics of a weapon. It is important to note that these devices are similar to those used at sporting events, concerts, amusement parks, and schools throughout the country.
The screenings will be utilized at both school buildings on random days at entrances or when deemed necessary by the school police officers or the administration. Unfortunately, there may be security situations when this system will provide an additional layer of security that will make everyone safer and feel more comfortable attending school. The preliminary details of the program will be discussed publicly on Thursday, January 11, 2024, during the school board committee discussion meeting. Students and teachers will be instructed on the expectations and entry process before full implementation.
The OpenGate Weapons Detection system is an additional measure aimed at improving the safety of all students, faculty, and staff. We remain diligent in our safety and security efforts with training, drills, technology, personnel, and awareness. We appreciate your cooperation as we work together to ensure a safe and secure learning environment for everyone. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by email ([email protected]) or phone (814-255-8715).