Campus Security Funds Being Allocated Across the Country

LOS ANGELES – Three more U.S. school districts have either approved or are considering major security improvements totaling more than $5 million.

The Irving (Texas) school district is looking into spending more than $1 million toward campus security upgrades, including camera surveillance, hall monitors, and keyless entry systems. If allocated, the funds would be intended to bolster school visitor access control, safety in classrooms, and deter high-volume crime areas. Older analog CCTVs would be replaced by Web-based digital cameras, and a sex-offender background check program could be instituted for visitors. Hall monitors are estimated at a $452,000 price tag, while keyless entry could run as high as $685,000.

A safety-driven building project is up for voter approval at Lockport, N.Y., school district. The $1.4 million project would secure main entrances, renovate existing surveillance camera systems, and improve outdoor lighting. A “safe schools initiative” recommended the improvements, which the districts hopes will be partially covered by state aid. The district hopes “Excel” aid, funds meant specifically for facility improvements, can also be applied to its share of an $8.67 million fire alarm, flooring, HVAC, electrical, heating and plumbing initiative approved last year.

In Baltimore, $2.7 million has been approved by the Anne Arundel County school board to bolster school camera surveillance, fences and security at sporting events. It is not known how this measure fits into a 2005 report pointing out $39 million of security weaknesses in the district. Specifics of the report have never been publicly disclosed in order to protect school weaknesses from potential threats. Without such information, the school board has been left to blindly approve security upgrade measures. A security plan outlining the district’s needs without revealing its weaknesses is currently being drafted.

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