Buzz-in entries providing extra layer of protection at Columbia Co. schools

News 12 This Morning / Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- Safety -- it's the main concern Marlowe Lewis says he has when he drops his 9-year-old daughter off at Martinez Elementary School.

"Just know that she's safe throughout the school, throughout [the day]. Coming in and after, she's good," said Lewis.

That's why he says he's glad Columbia County Schools have worked to add buzz-in entry systems.

"I think it's the perfect idea," he said. "It keeps the students safe all day long, you don't have to worry about incidents that have happened around the world."

"Right after Sandy Hook is when they started, parents were like, 'We'd like to have our school buildings secured more,'" said Schools Security Chief Lance Poss.

So the county worked over the last eight months to add buzz-in entries at 22 of the 31 schools.

"Some of them have the actual what we call in-door access," Poss explained. "Most of the high schools have that."

In-door access means people can get into the main doors but must check in at a window and be buzzed in to access the rest of the school.

Poss says most elementary and middle schools have an A-phone.

"It's a unit that's mounted outside the door," he explained. "It has a buzzer and a button, a microphone and it has a camera on there."

Some parents may find the extra process inconvenient for security measures against issues that don't happen that often.

But both Poss and Lewis agree, when it comes to student safety, you can never be too safe.

"Obviously, it's not 100 percent, but you don't have just open access to the school" Poss said.

"I feel the safety is there," said Lewis. "You have the buzz-in to get there. Then, there's a protection window. So, when you come, it's a good thing. You feel the safety for your daughter and the other kids there."

Chief Poss says he expects all 31 schools to have buzz-in entries by the end of the school year.


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