School Districts Around the Nation Upgrade Security
Here’s a breakdown of some of the districts implementing security improvements or considering them.
In Augusta, Ga., the Richmond County Board of Education is considering increased training for its school safety division officers, as well as new uniforms and a new emergency preparedness officer. A tax increase was approved by the board to pay for these and other improvements.
Meanwhile, the Hazelton (Pa.) Area Board of Education voted on Thursday to put armed officers in the district’s elementary schools. Doing so is estimated to cost an additional $120,000.
In Cumberland, Md., members of the Allegany County Board of Education will meet with the local sheriff’s office to develop a plan to bring armed and trained police officers into all 23 public schools and three private schools. Five plain-clothes security officers with concealed firearms could also be hired. The district hopes that all of the schools will eventually have School Resource Officers (SROs). Funds have also been set aside for mental health services.
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In Savannah, Ga., the district has just completed the installation of video intercoms and electric doors and the front entrances of all K-8 and elementary schools. Total cost for the installation of this equipment came to $72,000.
In Naperville, Ill., the Indian Prairie School District 204 will soon have the Raptor identification system installed to help with visitor management. Card access and video surveillance systems will also be installed.
In Iowa, the East Marshall School District is considering installing security cameras at a middle and elementary school.
In Wilmington, N.C., New Hanover County Schools officials reviewed results of a security audit prompted by December’s Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. The report recommends improved perimeter security, better signage for visitors, improved outdoor lighting, locked front doors that are monitored with a camera, more video surveillance, intrusion and panic alarms, HVAC controls and safe rooms. It also recommends placing sheriff’s deputies and SROs in the schools.
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