Pascack Valley High School will feature a greater security presence starting as soon as next week.
The Pascack Valley Regional Board of Education approved a contract this week with U.S. Securities Associates to hire two security guards — one for Pascack Valley High School and one for Pascack Hills — for the rest of the school year, according to Superintendent P. Erik Gundersen.
The new guards will be unarmed and provide additional supervision to the front entrance of each school, Gundersen said.
Currently, the schools already use cameras and keyless door locks which allow exit from any door, but forces anyone coming into the schools use the front door. Pascack Valley also has a School Resource Officer from the Hillsdale Police Department, though the officer is not in the school daily and the purpose is primarily education, Gundersen said.
There are also monthly security drills which include reviews with local police.
The schools will be paying about $15 per hour for each guard, who will be on duty from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A total of $36,000 is alloted for the contract, though Gundersen said he did not expect that much would be spent this school year.
The decision follows the , but Pascack Valley school officials had been planning the additional security since last year when the funds were included in the annual budget.
"It just happened to coincide with that unfortunate incident in Connecticut," Gundersen said.
Officials chose U.S. Securities Associations after they were recommended by other area school districts. Gundersen said they would re-examine the contract in the spring and could possibly add additional security or find a different company for next year.