West Des Moines Elementary Schools Introduce New Security System

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- West Des Moines elementary schools are starting off the year with new security systems.

"All of our district buildings have had locked doors on the exterior. By adding this second layer it has more clear line of sight and forces all guests to go through an office. Before, in the elementary buildings, guests could gain access to a hallway and not necessarily visit the office first," West Des Moines Schools Director of Community Relations Laine Mendenhall-Buck said.

She said every guest is required to push an outside buzzer to contact office staff who then lets them in to a waiting area.

Then the guest presses another buzzer and states their reason for being there to gain entry to the office.

Once in the office, the guest or parent gives the office staff their driver’s license or military ID, which is scanned through the sex offender database.

Once the scan is complete, the guest gets an ID sticker with their picture, name and place they are going in the school.

The double door entry and name tag systems ensure that the staff knows exactly who is in the building in case of a fire, tornado or intruder.

Parents said the new system is comforting.

"You are putting all your trust into the district to keep them safe and just to see that they are taking measures to continue that safety is really important to us,” Parent Chelsey Wood said.

If you're picking your child up and need to enter the building, the staff asks that you allow about five minutes of extra time to go through the entry way process.