MOSCOW, August 24 (Itar-Tass) —— Moscow police have almost finished checking the capital’s schools before September 1. Of the 2,174 schools there have already been tested almost 2,000, a spokesman for the Moscow police force told the media on Wednesday.
“Police officers have checked 1,996 schools of the 2,174. About a hundred others will be tested in the near future,” said the police official.
The group of inspectors conducting such checks usually consists of an inspector for minors, the neighborhood inspector, a representative of the public office of law and order and a dog specialist with a dog.
“On the eve of September 1 we are testing schools for the presence of explosive devices and explosives. The dog specialist must inspect the area and all school rooms, including basements and attics. We will check the availability of instructions to be followed in emergencies and the emergency phones,” the senior inspector for juvenile affairs, Natalia Orlova, said while checking a school in the central administrative district of Moscow.
In addition, she said that if the school was being repaired or still under construction, the police checked the workers’ IDs.
“In every school, we check the work of the emergency alarm button and the arrival time of a police patrol. Tests show that private security officers arrive within 5-10 minutes,” said Orlova.
She recalled that the safety of students was a responsibility of the school authorities, which decides at its sole discretion what security features to install.
According to school director Vladimir Kovshov “security must enjoy unflagging attention and the tragic events in Beslan must be always remembered.”
“The school should, above all, ensure the safety of children during the day in its territory. So at the last meeting of our school board it was decided to create an improved system of control. At school, CCTV cameras will be planted to transmit images to monitors at the security’s desk,” said Kovshov. “Also the entrances have been equipped with turnstiles, and soon the thumbs of all pupils and school staff will be finger-printed. This will let students and teachers pass through the turnstiles without using plastic cards. Putting a thumb to the scanning device will be enough.”
The school director said that would be especially true for primary school students, who often lose their cards.
In addition, according to Kovshov, parents can sign a special contract with the company that installs the security system, and for an additional fee to get an SMS when their child has left the school.
According to the juvenile affairs inspector, such systems have been installed at some schools in Moscow already.