New Security Monitoring Center opens

The first day of school at Churchville-Chili saw the launch of the school district’s latest addition to its comprehensive security initiative. The new Security Monitoring Center is centrally located in an office on the main Buffalo Road campus. It is a hub of activity, connecting security personnel, school administrators, counselors, nurses and instructional staff within the six district school campuses with each other, the community, local law enforcement and first responders. 

“Our district is extremely proactive and committed to keeping our students and staff safe,” said Director of School Safety and Security Bill Sanborn. “Over the past few years, we have very purposefully and strategically added security components which integrate human resources and technology in order to build greater safety across the district.”

The Monitoring Center is operational during regular school hours and at times of significant special events occurring afterhours. Trained security operators in the Monitoring Center include two former members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Bob Lillie and John Schultz. They actively monitor multiple video screens filled with views from cameras placed throughout district schools and grounds. From this vantage point, the experienced security workers keep an eye out for any unusual activity.

“Most of the time of course, our job can be as simple as helping to quickly locate a student,” said Lillie. “But when time is of the essence, we are able to take action immediately, all in real-time.”  

The security operator in the Monitoring Center is equipped for multi-tasking in any given situation with immediate access to all necessary school records, online data and informational software systems, building blueprints, emergency response plans, and radio, telephone and computer communication systems. The Center serves as a centralized dispatch base station for the district, answering the call for any security need.

Technology is increasing the department’s efficiency, but open communication and transparency are the foundation of the security initiative at Churchville-Chili schools. There are many avenues for direct communication with the community, including a dedicated security line (585-794-8224) and an anonymous Safe School Helpline (1-800-418-6423, extension 359). 

Most importantly, security team members are a constant, familiar and friendly physical presence in school hallways. “Our greatest asset remains the relationships we’ve built with students and their families,” said Lillie. “Trust is key. We’re here to listen. We’re here to help. We want to keep everyone safe.”

The Monitoring Center project planning began in April 2018, in collaboration with Churchville-Chili’s Information Technology and Operations & Maintenance departments. Funding assistance was obtained from New York State, with the help of NYS Senator Michael Ranzenhofer. The Center continues the district’s deep commitment to increased safety, building on last year’s installation of mobile data computer systems in district security vehicles. Sanborn credits IT Director Derek VanDenHandel, IT specialist Tim Pios, Director of O & M Joe Valenti, and the entire security team with the initial success of the Monitoring Center.

Photo: (l-r) Security Worker John Schultz, Director of School Safety and Security Bill Sanborn, and Security Workers Bob Lillie and Tom Campopiano in Churchville-Chili’s new Security Monitoring Center.

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