Troy police communications supervisor Sam Kalef looks at live feeds from cameras at Athens and Troy high schools at the Troy Police Department Feb. 28.

Troy police communications supervisor Sam Kalef looks at live feeds from cameras at Athens and Troy high schools at the Troy Police Department Feb. 28.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Troy School District, Troy police keep eyes on safety

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 7, 2018

 Troy police officers and police service aides may access cameras in buildings in the district from this control panel.

Troy police officers and police service aides may access cameras in buildings in the district from this control panel.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

TROY — While the Troy School District has measures in place to protect the safety of students and staff, school officials say that safety starts from within. 

The district installed security measures at all buildings three years ago. Visitors must go through the main office to enter each school.

“Our community has become normalized to the process,” Troy School District Superintendent Rich Machesky said. “By and large, people are appreciative and willing to deal with the inconvenience if it means the children are safe.” 

The Troy Police Department may look inside any building in the Troy School District quickly if it needs to. Troy police have access to all camera systems in the Troy School District from the police dispatch center. 

“We have the ability to watch anytime we want,” said Troy Police Department Capt. Bob Redmond. “But we just don’t watch to watch.” 

Redmond explained that police and dispatch staff look at the feed periodically for training purposes and to “make sure everything is working.” 

Machesky said police have accessed the cameras in instances after school hours when the alarm has gone off. “We’ve not had a scenario of that in school hours,” he said. “In an emergency, police would have access.”

Machesky said that safety in schools “goes way beyond the physical safety measures we take. The problem will be solved from the inside-out, not the outside-in.” 

“I want to shift the conversation, long term, that schools are safe when students and staff know all students are welcome and their social and emotional well-being is being attended to,” he said. 

To this aim, Machesky said that adults in school buildings must develop appropriate relationships with students, so that “students have adults they can tell” if something is amiss. 

He noted that a recent report in the Wall Street Journal stated that the vast majority of school shootings were perpetrated by former “misadjusted students, people that did not have a positive school experience and were disconnected in some manner.” 

Machesky said that support — counselors, social workers — all comes at a price. 

“The Troy School District is thinking about how we create supports for students. It’s not easy when there are multiple priorities vying for resources,” Machesky said. “Any important change that’s going to stick starts from within.”