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Coeur d'Alene schools begin pilot security program

Published On: Jan 08 2014 02:08:17 AM CST

The Coeur d'Alene School District is beefing up security.

On Wednesday, Ramsey Elementary, Woodland Middle School and Coeur d'Alene High School will implement a three week pilot program to test a new video buzz-in system to make day to day operation safer. It's just part of a larger emphasis the district is trying to put on security.

"No one thinks it could happen in their community," said Superintendent Mark Handelman. He remembers the days that followed the unthinkable events at Newtown, Connecticut a year ago.

"Right after the Sandy Hook tragedy we had a big meeting with law enforcement in our area and said 'What can we do right off the bat, money or not, to make our schools safer?'"

Voters approved a $1.4 million levy to make that happen. It provided funding for more resource officers, fenced in school grounds and video surveillance systems.

"It's all about the kids and their safety," Handelman explained. "Also about our staff. We know that in Sandy Hook several staff members lost their lives as well. We care about all the people we work with and obviously all the kids we serve."

The new buzz-in system is simple. Visitors will push a button at the main entrance and be visible on a small camera to staff in the office. Once they're identified, they'll be buzzed in.

Handelman admits that security measures like this aren't something he likes to see at his schools, but he says the people tasked with keeping children safe have to adapt.