Knox Co. Schools security audit finds multiple deficiencies

Knox Co. Schools security audit finds multiple deficiencies

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Security issues were found at multiple schools in the school system. Security issues were found at multiple schools in the school system.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Knox County Schools' system-wide security inspection report has been released.

The move comes after an independent audit of security systems for Hardin Valley Academy and Powell Middle School in 2011 found multiple deficiencies in the security system.

Knox County Schools hired Professional Security Consultants and Design (PSCD) for the school system's electronic security systems until finding these issues.

Then Knox County Schools began using SimplexGrinnell for security.

In the summer of 2012, SimplexGrinnell conducted a system-wide check of security. School officials say they redacted some portions and pages of the report to protect the various security systems.

In the report, SimplexGrinnell found deficiencies in several schools:

  • At Whittle Springs Middle School, three motion detectors were not programmed correctly and did not have power.
  • Several old devices that were not part of the current security system were removed at many schools including West View Elementary.
  • At West Valley Middle School Café, the display on the keypad in the service area was not functioning.
  • No deficiencies were reported at West Valley Middle School, but the company recommended installing a new security system in the building.
  • At Vine Middle Vocational, a battery in the control panel failed and was replaced during inspection.
  • Motion detectors and a sensor failed at Sterchi Elementary School due to not being programmed in the security system. The report says a programming change was required to resolve the issue.
  • At South Doyle Middle School, two motion detectors were not programmed into the security system and failed. Security panels powered down without power at South Doyle High School.
  • At South Knoxville Elementary, a battery in the security panel failed and was replaced.
  • A motion detector failed at Shannondale Elementary and at Pond Gap Elementary two motion detectors failed.
  • SimplexGrinnell recommended installing a new security system at Northwest Middle School. The report says a door contact failed to alarm when tested and a security panel lost power and shut off when batteries were disconnected.
  • The phone line for the security system was not working at Lonsdale Elementary School.
  • At Knox Historic High both speakers failed to sound when testing the security system.
  • Three motion detectors failed at Holston Middle school.
  • A keypad failed at Gresham Middle School and Café.
  • Four motion detectors failed at Gibbs High School. One failed at Gap Creek Elementary School and Fulton High School.
  • At Farragut High School, three keypads failed.
  • At the Eastport building, the security panel turned off when the batteries were disconnected.
  • At Cedar Bluff Primary School, Carter Elementary School and Austin East High Kitchen, a motion detector failed. Two failed at Adrian Burnett Elementary School.
  • SimplexGrinnell found no deficiencies at Powell Middle School and Hardin Valley Academy.

As you may recall, the Public Building Authority ordered an independent audit for Powell Middle and Hardin Valley Academy in 2011. A different company, Stansell Electric, did the inspection.

The report by Stansell states that the security systems in both schools do not meet quality expectations in the educational environment.

The report says generic brands were used in place of name brands and the video does not provide facial recognition or high resolution video evidence in the event of a crime or school incident. Fire, life safety, electrical local and state codes were violated.

PBA officials say the fire walls were repaired but the other security system problems at Powell Middle and Hardin Valley Academy remain because of pending litigation with PSCD.

6 News requested an interview with Director of Schools Dr. Jim McIntyre, but were told he wasn't available.

School officials did tell us all the deficiencies discovered by SimplexGrinnell have been fixed.

Also to ease the community's concerns over school security, random security checks are planned at several schools.

According to school officials, SimplexGrinnell will conduct these random inspections.

In a letter to the board, Superintendent Dr. McIntyre recommends checking Powell Middle and Hardin Valley Academy, along with 25 additional schools.

He recommends examining security alarms, video cameras and keyless entry systems.

The next work session is on the 18th.

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