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Shooting In Sandy Hook Prompts Reexamination Of Security At Philadelphia Public Schools

Chief Inspector Cynthia Dorsey speaks during a City Council hearing on expanding Philadelphia's use of crime surveillance cameras. (credit: Mike Dunn)

Chief Inspector Cynthia Dorsey speaks during a City Council hearing on expanding Philadelphia’s use of crime surveillance cameras. (credit: Mike Dunn)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia School District’s top security official says the district should “re-think” its security efforts at elementary schools in light of the Sandy Hook massacre. Her comments came Monday at a City Council hearing on surveillance cameras.

Chief Inspector Cynthia Dorsey pointed to the Sandy Hook shootings and the abduction of an elementary school student in West Philadelphia as incidents prompting a re-examining of security at district elementary schools.

“Every elementary school needs to be hardened,” Dorsey said, “needs to have camera systems, needs to have aiphones (front door intercoms), and probably needs to have metal detectors and scans.”

Dorsey said about one-quarter of the district’s 160 elementary schools lack surveillance cameras, and all of them, in her view, should have them.

“Just this morning,” she said, “at the Reynolds School (in North Philadelphia), a 7-year-old brought a fully loaded .357 magnum into the school yard and pointed it at another student.”

Dorsey spoke during a lengthy City Council hearing on expanding Philadelphia’s use of crime surveillance cameras. The hearing focused in part on problems with the Police Department’s system of approximately 200 cameras. However, no one from the Police Department or Mayor Michael Nutter’s office attended the hearing. A spokesman for the mayor said top aides who might have testified were either out of town or with Vice President Joe Biden, who was in town for a meeting of his gun task force.

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