Dr. Hynes Security Letter to Pat-Med Community
February 27, 2018
Dear Patchogue-Medford Families:
Since learning of the tragic events in Parkland, Florida, I have been reflecting on how I would communicate my thoughts and feelings with our beautiful and caring school community. As a father and educator, I want you to know we will safeguard (y)our children while they are in our care. Rest assured, the Board of Education, our administrators, teachers and staff take that honor and responsibility seriously. In some ways I don’t want to be over reactive, but it’s my duty to acknowledge that many of us have strong emotions and questions that have surfaced which directly focuses on the safety and security of our children when in school.
First, our community should know we have a very close working relationship with Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD) and, as I trust our students and staff would acknowledge, we have amazing security guards in all eleven schools. All of our security guards are vetted off-duty or retired police officers. Our security force frequently works with our administrators and educational staff within our schools. We also have a School Resource Officer assigned to our school district who responds to calls from our administrators and security personnel. I’m proud to say we have over one-hundred security guards who are charged with multiple roles. It’s important to note we also have assigned roving patrols that are mobilized throughout the Patchogue-Medford School District.
Second, at our last Board meeting on Monday, February 26, 2018, I spoke about our desire to reassess our current Building and District wide plans. It’s also important that our school community understands what we have done to date, as well as what we plan to do in the near future.
Some of our most recent security updates include:
- Security cameras installed in all buildings throughout the District
- SAVE hotlines operational in all schools
- Updated District Safety Plan- this plan included the assistance of two Suffolk County police officers and was approved at our January Board meeting
- Unannounced Intruder Drills conducted at all schools throughout the school year
- Purchased 285 radios to improve building and District communication
- Repaired Public Address Systems District wide
- Installed Blue Strobe lights
Our most updated safety plan can be found on our website. You can find it here: District Safety Plan Document
Finally, it is imperative we continue to stay committed to augmenting our security procedures and protocols. I appreciate your support, commitment to our schools and your suggestions as to how we can improve our practices. As we do this together… we ensure the physical, emotional, academic and social needs of all our children are being met every single day.
Michael J. Hynes
Superintendent of Schools