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Letters: Millions for school security is a pity

New York City rated less than 10 percent

New York City rated less than 10 percent of its teachers "highly effective" in the latest round of state-required job evaluations this year, compared with nearly 60 percent of teachers across the rest of New York, according to a report issued Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

What is this country coming to when our government had to consider spending $3.2 million for emergency school security programs instead of on education for children ["Delay on panic alarms," News, Sept. 22]?

What's next, transporting our children in school buses outfitted like armored cars? Armed guards at all school entrances? Police SWAT teams roaming school halls?

Yet when some citizens try to put a limit on who can buy guns, they are immediately ostracized by organizations like the National Rifle Association.

Only when a bit of sanity emerges will these millions of dollars go back to education and not to fortifying our schools!

Thomas Smith, Riverhead

Panic activation systems for schools are overrated. The worst situation a school can have is an active shooter, which can be more easily and safely detected and reported by installing a system like ShotSpotter in the building. This technology monitors sound waves for gunshots.

There could then be a direct link to the local police department for a response. Police would know exactly how many shots were fired and their location.

In addition, most staff members and administrators have access to cellphones. Police departments need to have the additional capability to receive 911 text messages. This would allow someone to report an incident in silence and could be ideal in an active-shooter situation.

Alan Zederbaum, Holbrook

Editor's note: The writer is a retired SUNY police lieutenant.