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Pascack Valley Schools Hire Security Guards

The unarmed guards will cover the entrances of Pascack Valley High School and Pascack Hills High School. Officials had been planning the increased security since last year.

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.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Kelly Van Rijn January 12, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Unarmed guards? And they will do what to stop an armed intruder? Yell at him? Yell loudly at him if the bad guy doesn't stop the first time? PC madness.
Jason Feinman January 14, 2013 at 02:29 AM
An absolute waste of taxpayer funds. You want proper security the answer is metal detectors for weapons with one or two armed guards checking and one entrance ways with no entry from outside. That is doing the job right.

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