New equipment enhances safety at EPISD campuses

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Going to school just got safer for many EPISD students and staff, thanks to the district’s newly-installed security equipment.

EPISD unveiled its new safety upgrades on Monday, which were funded in part by the voter-approved Bond 2016 program.

According to a news release, Secure Entry Systems have been installed at every elementary school.

Officials say the technology allows the schools to use surveillance cameras and contact lock doors to restrict access to those who need to be on campus.

“You ring the doorbell, it rings a phone inside, (and) once somebody answers the phone, they’ll ask you to present your ID,” Safe and Secure Schools Manager Manuel Chavira explains of the multi-phase program. “All of that is being recorded, so we know who is coming in.”

According to the district, visitors are then directed to the front office where they are again required to show identification.

The IDs are run through an electronic system that searches through databases, including a sex offender registry. Once approved, visitor passes are issued for one day.

“It’s very important to have multiple phases,” Chavira said. “It creates layers of security for the entire system.” 

According to the release, a new replacement office, EPISD Police patrol car, and other police equipment were also purchased using the Bond 2016 and other funds.

“The modernization of the District includes developing practices and regulations that help us continue our efforts to provide safe and secure learning environments,” Superintendent Juan Cabrera said. “Thanks to the voters of EPISD, we are able to provide the latest in safety technology in order to give parents peace of mind.”

Officials say the $669 million Bond 2016 includes $750,000 for safety and security upgrades, as well as 17 major construction projects and athletic, transportation and technology upgrades.

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