After Parkland, AHS adds security

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- In the weeks after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Albemarle High School Principal Jesse Turner says he was approached by parents and students who expressed fear that the same thing could happen at their school.

"I heard the pain, I saw the pain the eyes of my children, adults that I met with, and I just wanted to figure out," he said. "Was there something else that we could do?"

He decided to add a private security guard at the school's entrance, bolstering security already provided by two Albemarle County Police Department School Resource Officers.

"I knew that an extra set of eyes could not hurt," Turner said.

The guard, Justin Miles, works for Millennium Security, a local firm founded 18 years ago by Rovelle Brown and Marvin Johnson.

Brown says Turner first used Millennium's services when he was at Monticello High School, to provide after-school security. He says the presence of a uniformed guard at the school sends a message to anyone who might cause problems at the school.

"We're there as a deterrent," he said. "We're not armed at all, but we are there to assist with Albemarle County Police, students and faculty to make sure they can get to a safe environment if there is a school shooting there."

Millennium's Director of Operations Jesse Ellis spent decades in law enforcement. He says uniformed guards are helpful for establishing a secure school environment, but he says there are other issues to consider.

"There's a lot of schools nowadays that have large glass windows and doors, large glass walls where students are not able to barricade," he said.

Ellis said Millennium now offers school security assessments, and he's found that some schools don't have thorough enough plans for an emergency.

"For instance, they may have buses where they bring the kids in," he said. "And in an active shooter situation, there's nothing in their plan that says what happens if the children are in the process of getting off the bus and something happens. Do they get back on the bus? Do they leave? Do they go in the school?"

Turner says he knows an extra security guard can't guarantee safety, but he says it's been helpful in giving students comfort and a sense of safety so they can focus on learning.

"It's not a panacea having him here," he said. "But it's the fact that we recognized there's a concern and we're trying to do what we can to help you feel better about being in school."



 
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