What’s Up With the New Security System?

BC High just got a whole lot more secure.

Ben Bliss ‘23, Editor in Chief

If there is anything I took away from my conversation with Mr. Soutter—vice-principal of operations—about new security personnel, metal detectors, and goose patrol, it is that the security at BC High is nothing to scoff at; with thirty-eight ways in and out of the school, an efficient and effective system is a must for a safe learning environment.

As the 2021-2022 school year progressed, I grew increasingly curious of the camera setup on the desk located at the bottom corner of the Commons. Even at just a glance, anyone who were to enter BC High through the main or Student Life entrances this year would notice one of two new faces monitoring these cameras.

These two men were hired as part of the new security system that Mr. Soutter tells me has been in the works for two years. The implementation of this new system began after the previous security guard left in 2019. Between then and now, COVID had reduced the urgency for a replacement, however once we became a fully functioning school again, this system was near the top of the priority list.

Before I was aware of the depth that went into planning a new system, one question I had for Mr. Soutter was whether any particular event somehow contributed to the system’s integration. For instance, in October of 2019 a man entered the school and made threats before exiting, upon which he was apprehended by the police. Though Mr. Soutter informed me that this was not an inciting moment, it is something that the new system aims to prevent.

Overall, the system is simply an improvement of the school which met a momentary need, but it will be even more necessary in the future if BC High decides to expand the campus. The two men who monitor the cameras mostly station at the front security desk, but they constantly make rounds to check the thirty-eight entrances and exits at BC High.

While conversing with Mr. Soutter, I inquired about the goals of BC High’s security and what we can expect in the years to come. In short, the school finds it imperative to maintain the feeling of a welcoming environment for however security is tackled in the future.

What would that look like? You might ask. For starters, Mr. Soutter tells me that metal detectors as you enter the building would completely contradict the goal of welcomeness; students should not have to feel as if they are visiting a prison five days a week. Likewise, a guard protecting the front doors may come off as threatening to students and visitors, as that would be a rather aggressive security solution. The front security desk serves the same purpose as a guard, but in a more comfortable and inconspicuous way. A fence enclosing the front lawn was also listed as a goal in the Fall Alumni Meeting video on BC High’s YouTube page. This fence would help to signify private property and continue to keep people off-campus who do not belong there. On the digital front, the new OneLogin two factor authentication system introduced last year serves to keep hackers at bay and protect private information.

A final, potential security improvement could actually be a reignited position at the school from years prior: goose patrol. Students are all too familiar with the geese who act like they own the front lawn and show zero fear whatsoever when approached. Not that anyone has necessarily been attacked walking to school, but BC High used to hire people with dogs to chase these birds away and get them off school property. Who knows, perhaps the future of BC High security lies with this mighty task force, but for now it rests in the hands of a brand new, efficient system that works just as intended. After two years in the workshop, BC High’s security is firing on all cylinders, and our school has never been more safe.