MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A local school district has recently enhanced its safety and security measures. Retired Saratoga County Sheriff’s Deputy Ken Cooper started working in the Mechanicville City School District in May and showed NEWS10 some of the protocols he’s implemented since then.

Visitors are cleared by the front office before entry with a camera system. Staff ensure doors are not propped open, and various doors are also equipped with alarms.

Students aren’t allowed to wear hoods on their heads, and they can’t carry their backpacks between classes. And when it comes to threats, besides keeping an ear to the ground at school, Cooper encourages parents to pay attention at home.

“We’ve always been up front with our parents about it,” he said. “If you see something going on in your child’s room, or you see something your child is posting on social media, you should be the first to report that. I understand it’s your child, but we have to look into this stuff to make sure we don’t have a threat of school violence.”

Cooper said students have come a long way with being back to school in-person, and they are excited about life going back to normal. When students are absent for long periods of time, he does home visits to make sure everything is okay.