MONTVALE - Beginning next week, unarmed guards will man the front doors of both Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley high schools in Bergen County.
The school district has tossed around the idea of unarmed guards since before the Newtown shootings. It has hired an outside security firm to monitor who comes and goes between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Erik Gunderson, superintendent of Pascack Valley schools, says the district has opted for unarmed guards because it does not want weapons in the building and intends to leave the weaponry to local police.
The buildings are routinely patrolled by police. There are plans for local law enforcement to work collectively with the unarmed guards.
The district says it may expand the guards hours to cover after-school events.
Pascack Valley schools already added surveillance cameras in the hallways. There are plans to beef up security even further by installing a silent communications system that would allow teachers to reach police in the event of a lockdown.