Metal detectors at public venues and cops in schools are signs of the times, neither especially pleasant to consider.

But as disconcerting as these images are, the reality is both are smart and necessary steps to ensure our safety.

The biggest surprise in the announcement that fans will have to pass through metal detectors before entering the Kohl Center on the UW campus is that Wisconsin is the first school in the Big Ten to take such steps.

It’ll take a little added patience for spectators at Kohl Center events but no one can argue the desire to avoid tragedies like those seen in other public venues over the last few years.

Likewise the Madison School Board’s unanimous approval Tuesday night of a two-year contract renewal to keep uniformed Madison police officers in the city’s four main high schools was the right thing to do.

It was a compromise, but isn’t that what much of public safety has come to these days?