New, Improved Security System Greets Visitors, Students



The new LobbyGuard security system greets students as they enter a more secure high school building.

Gavin DeFrangesco, Staff Reporter

In September of 2019, Norristown Area High School took a major step toward keeping all of the students and staff here safe. Edward Roth, Christopher Dormer, Mike Evans, and others from the administration came together to implement a new security system at Norristown called LobbyGuard. 

Stephen Neufer, a security guard at Norristown, was tasked to be in charge of the new system. The school hired him as a security guard in 2011, so this is currently his ninth year at Norristown. You will see him all around the school in the halls, cafeteria, but mainly in the lobby. Neufer’s boss, Mike Evans, is in charge of the six security guards here at Norristown. He used to be a police officer for 31 years in Lower Moreland Township.     

LobbyGuard works by first asking the person entering the building a series of questions. For example, you would be asked who you are visiting or if you are here for a specific meeting. “LobbyGuard helps me screen people who aren’t authorized to see the children in our building” stated Neufer. A person is not able to get into the school until you answer these questions. Your license will also have to be scanned in order to enter the building. The device in the lobby will take your picture and ask you to put your driver’s license in the machine to be scanned. When it scans your license, it runs through the system of the state police and it finds out if there is a PFA, Protection From Abuse order, against you.  If a mother and/or father have issues with each other or are going through a divorce, there could be a potential PFA. The child might not be able to see either parent. Should this happen and the parent shows in the system, per Neufer, the school is unable to let that person in. They will not let the child go home with that person as well.

Once the person’s information is approved in the system, the machine will process a name tag and who they are visiting. If you are authorized to go into the building Neufer will bring you to a bench. The secretary will then check all of your records. The school also provides a release form for a parent to fill out if they are picking a student up. They will need their ID ready for one of the secretaries to check. 

Norristown had an old security system in which security guards would stand at the door in the morning and check IDs, or if you were late to school you would have to buzz in from the outside. Therefore, if you were an intruder and they buzzed you in, then you were already halfway into the school. 

The new security system has been successful with it only being up for a few months. This is one of the many big new improvements that Norristown has added to the school.