Holley school officials pleased with security efforts in recent years

Posted 4 January 2016 at 12:00 am

Press Release, Holley Central School

HOLLEY – Holley Central School District has taken several measures over the last few years to ensure the safety of students and staff while they are on campus.

This includes employing security officers in both buildings, locking the doors at the beginning of the school day, issuing swipe cards to faculty and staff for building access, using video surveillance throughout the campus and performing lockdown drills.

“Even though there have been no incidents or threats to the security of Holley Central School District, given the current state of the world we’re living in, we’re being proactive by seamlessly integrating these measures into the regular school day,” said Robert D’Angelo, district superintendent.

Several years ago, the Board of Education approved the district contracting with C.O.P. Security to employ security officers in the Elementary School and Middle School/High School buildings during the school day, as well as during evening hours and special events.

The security officers are all former police officers or sheriff’s deputies from local law enforcement agencies. The officers patrol inside and outside the buildings daily and can be seen at district concerts and sporting events. The students greet the officers daily, and they have become very comfortable with the officers’ presence in the district.

D’Angelo is appreciative of their presence.

“They are part and parcel of the culture of the district,” said D’Angelo. “Everyone knows them. The presence of C.O.P. Security helps us maintain a safe and orderly environment. We gain from their experience with law enforcement, which adds to the safety and security of Holley Schools.”

Bob Lillie, who is a security officer at the Elementary School, approves of the measures Holley has taken to keep district employees and students safe.

“From what I’ve seen, Holley security is head and shoulders above the other schools in the area,” said Lillie. “We have to be so security conscious in this age, it just makes sense. Our presence has a calming effect on people because we’re there to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Lillie also enjoys the interaction he has with students. “I enjoy the kids. They crack me up with how honest they are. We’re able to fill in the gaps for the principals and give the kids a neutral person to talk to. In addition to providing security, I see myself and the other officers as ambassadors to get the kids to do right and make good choices. The staff has been very appreciative of having us here, too, and they tell us they feel better having us here.”

D’Angelo agrees. “The security officers are outstanding role models,” he said. “In the past, we’ve had them go into classrooms and talk about bike safety, perform car seat checks for the community, and educate students about their rights and responsibilities as citizens.”

The Board was also instrumental in approving locking the exterior doors to both buildings, issuing swipe cards to faculty and staff to gain entry, and equipping the campus with security cameras.

Security at the Elementary School was enhanced with the decision to contain visitors in the foyer by locking the interior doors to the main hallways. The Board also strives to make sure there are enough lights installed on campus for evening events as students travel between buildings and parking areas.

“I am so thankful that the Board of Education has been committed to taking the lead on adding security measures to the district,” said D’Angelo. “Without them, it wouldn’t happen.”

D’Angelo is part of the Superintendents and Law Enforcement Group, where the five Orleans County school superintendents meet with Orleans County law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office to collaborate on maintaining the safety and security of all Orleans County schools. Holley recently performed a lockdown drill in both schools and all agencies came together for the debriefing on the drill.

“The cooperation from these agencies has been phenomenal,” said D’Angelo. “They were very complimentary about how well the drill went in Holley.”