New York State In-depth

South Huntington School Board allows armed security guards outside buildings

HUNTINGTON STATION, NY (PIX11) — The South Huntington School District joins the ranks of the districts with armed security guards outside all school buildings.

The school board unanimously voted Wednesday night to hire Melville-based private security firm Upfront Security Associates. Guards with concealed handguns will be stationed in front of all eight schools in the district beginning next week.

“It’s a very sensitive issue – armed security – and this decision was not taken lightly. Due to the frequency of school shootings, we felt it was a necessary decision,” said principal Vito D’Elia.

D’Elia said all of the guards will be retired police officers who have active gunman training. You have the power to make the decision to enter the school and attack the shooter before Suffolk Police officers can react.

“The quicker we can respond, the better our chances of saving lives,” D’Elia said.

At a school board meeting on Wednesday evening, some parents spoke out against it. One man said: “You should know that you are voting for a proposal that is not based on science, research or data or evidence.”

The private security firm will cost the South Huntington School District $750,000 a year. The district will also add additional security camera surveillance stations and build more security vestibules.

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