Sto-Rox School District hires new security firm for school safety

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With a new school year comes a new security firm in the Sto-Rox School District. The board unanimously approved Signal of Central Pittsburgh to monitor all of its schools, but Superintendent Megan VanFossan said it’s about more than just that.

“We really want our security to get to know our kids, to really get to know their backgrounds and what they love,” VanFossan said.

Building relationships with students while keeping them safe is the goal of the security firm. School officials said many of the guards actually worked at the schools last year and are coming back this year, now working for Signal.

“We’re not just going to bring in anyone to do security for our kids…that’s never going to happen,” said Cameron Culliver, Sto-Rox school board president.

Security officers will have training for active shooter situations, bomb threats, children with special needs, AEDs and verbal de-escalation. The security team will have GPS tracking on all of the officers’ phones. They’ll also use them to file reports so faculty is aware of what’s going on at all times.

“The primary center has two guards, the upper elementary has two guards, and there are four guards that are here at the junior-senior high school,” VanFossan said.

Signal will also offer the district the use of a security patrol vehicle that will help the company’s visibility, something else school officials hope will give parents a little peace of mind.

“It’s unfortunate, but you look across the country and see what has happened over the years and the increase…it’s important to be proactive versus reactive, right? Those quick seconds…they can save someone’s life,” Culliver said.

Signal will also offer a $500 scholarship to a student selected by the faculty. The student must pursue a career in criminal justice, law enforcement or the military.

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