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District working to bolster security on campuses

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Seven security guards were at V. Sue Cleveland High School Thursday morning when a shot rang out, according to district spokeswoman Bethany Pendergrass.

Come this spring, some of them will be armed.

In November, the Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education voted to arm some security guards districtwide, Pendergrass said. She said 10 armed guards will be dispersed throughout district schools.

The district is also in the process of buying a gunshot detection system that could detect and locate when and where shots are fired, Pendergrass said.

“We already have a vendor and a (purchase order) in process so that should begin shortly,” she said.

All Rio Rancho public schools have “access control,” meaning students, staff and visitors have to get buzzed in or use a keycard to enter buildings, Pendergrass said.

And in all schools, except for V. Sue Cleveland, visitors are funneled through an office on their way in as an added security measure. Pendergrass said Cleveland will follow suit this summer.

District Superintendent Sue Cleveland said that after the shot was fired Thursday, students and staff all did exactly what they had been trained to do.

“It’s not been a good experience today,” she said. “In that plan we’ll look at it and we’ll go over every single thing we’ve done today and see if there are things we can do better.”

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