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Lakeland Superintendent Stone Pleased With Security Measure's Approval

Voters in Lakeland overwhelmingly approved a $14 million bond to enhance safety and security.
Voters in Lakeland overwhelmingly approved a $14 million bond to enhance safety and security. Photo Credit: File Photo

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Lakeland Central School District Superintendent George Stone was all smiles Wednesday after voters overwhelmingly approved a $14.5 million bond to upgrade school security on Tuesday night.

"We’re certainly pleased with the outcome," Superintendent George Stone said. "We did the best we could to develop this responsibly."

The bond passed 704 to 378 for the district, which is in Yorktown, Somers, Cortlandt and portions of Putnam County.

The bond will upgrade surveillance camera systems, swipe-card access, double vestibules in front of each building and phones in every classroom and fire doors in hallways, according to LoHud.

The district expects the state to cover a little under half of the costs, and expects work to be completed by 2015.

Stone said they had input from security experts, law enforcement first responders, and staff.

"Nothing we can do can ensures safety 100 percent," Stone said. "But this will help us with a lot of things and allow us to monitor our schools better and be more educationally friendly."

Stone said the new security upgrades improve communication throughout the district with parents and first responders.

"We really needed to update this," Stone said. "We can monitor people inside the building and limit access."

While events such as the Sandy Hook shooting have resonated everywhere, Stone said he hears about minor incidents happening all the time. New Rochelle High School was evacuated after the district said it received a threatening phone call on Wednesday.

"We get a list of them every week," Stone said. "It's unlikely you'll have a serious incident, but you need to be prepared for your students and staff. Anything you can do to enhance security."

Stone said Lakeland is an an amazing community that always supports the school district.

"There is really good two-way communication," Stone said. "We know how people feel and we know what their priorities are and what they want from the school. We wouldn't have gone forward with this if not for calls and e-mails from people."

Stone said it is also important for the district to have a good relationship with local police departments.

"They are our first line of security," Stone said. "We meet with them regularly. We don't think whether to call, we know if we call, they will be there."

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