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After Sandy Hook School Tragedy

All school security issues were again reviewed 

Following the tragedy at Sandy Hook last year, the Great Neck School District once again reviewed their security measures at all of their buildings. At the most recent Board of Education public action meeting, Supervisor of Security Chris Tevlin presented an update of these security measures. 

Prior to Mr. Tevlin’s report, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Dolan stated that te Sandy Hook shootings “will be remembered always … it had a tremendous impact on Great Neck.” Dr. Dolan assured that, following those shootings, security at the Great Neck Public Schools was once again reviewed and certain changes were made. “We made certain no chances are taken,” he said.

Mr. Tevlin said that his security staff consists of nine full-time employees and 25 part-time aides. There are also 20 contract guards (obtained through vendors), providing coverage at all of the district’s school buildings. Guards deal with traffic and the lobby guards have the use of scanners. In addition to guards, there are also cameras, 253 cameras within the district. The district as safety plans and holds drills too. 

Included, too, in the safety measures are being able to count on the availability and any necessary help from the Nassau County Police and from the private police forces in four of Great Neck’s nine villages (Great Neck Estates, Kensington, Kings Point and Lake Success). And Mr. Tevlin noted that many of their school guards are retired police officers.

In addition, Mr. Tevlin reported that security staff members and others in the school district have participated in “live shooter drills” with Nassau County police officers. “We want to be sure the children are safe,” he said, adding that they “examined all or our procedures and protocols and meet with all sorts of people (involved in safety measures).”

And the new doors in the buildings all can be locked from the inside. 

Mr. Tevlin also discussed each building have only one point of entry … except for North High School, where extra security had to be provided. All of the doors in all of the schools must be locked at all times and cameras display all who want to enter. Everyone must be “buzzed” in. And he touched on an incident at North High School a few years ago when someone was caught on camera at the scene of a car bombing. 

At the schools there is a focus on who is in the building and who is in the parking lots, who is guarding. As for armed guards, Mr. Tevlin said that “armed guards are not the right thing.” But there is coverage 24/7 he said, and if there are any problems, he and his security team can be reached at 441-4911. 

We provide a safe, secure place where children can be educated,” Mr. Tevlin said.