CLEVELAND -- Local school security experts say technology is necessary, but training and awareness are critical.
Ken Trump, of Parma, who runs National School Safety Services, was on his child's playground acting as a volunteer monitor on Friday when he got word of the kindergarten massacre in Connecticut.
He says proper training and awareness must be combined with the latest security technology.
"We can have the security equipment, but if we have that camera at the front door and somebody buzzes one legitimate person in and two or three people come in behind him," Trump says, "we need to make sure our school staff is trained and our parents to understand why they can't do that as well."
Trump says while such incidents are rare, they can happen, and parents should become involved in questions of security at their children's schools.
"Parents need to send their kids to school, not be alarmed, but have supportive and probing questions and conversations with their school officials to see what measures are in place," Trump counsels.
He says some incidents may never be prevented, when individuals with mental problems or other deep-seated problems are intent on murder.
"We're seeing the' lone wolf acto'r from movie theatres, places of worship, and our malls," Trump said. "It's unrealistic to think we couldn't potentially have the same things cross our schoolhouse doors. On a day to day basis, it's highly unlikely but we have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario."
Security consultant Tim Dimoff, of SACS Consulting in Akron, says such incidents have become a terrible fact of life in America, whether in schools, churches, or workplaces.
"Most of the victims, most of the locations, one thing we have found out they all say is, it couldn't happen here," Dimoff says. "And we have to stop thinking it won't happen here and start saying if it does, how do we prevent, how do we react, how do we minimize the damage."
Both security experts encourage parents to become active members of the school community.