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Baltimore County Public Schools Invest $13.6 Million in Security

Baltimore County Public Schools has invested $13.6 million in school security after a 2012 shooting at Perry Hall High School.

Baltimore County Public Schools Invest $13.6 Million in Security

Baltimore County is the 25th largest school district in the country.

After an eye-opening incident where a student shot a gun into a crowded cafeteria at a Baltimore high school, Baltimore County Public School officials decided they needed to invest more money into school security.

Robert W. Gladden Jr., 15, was sentenced to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder when he indiscriminately shot at 500 students in the cafeteria of Perry Hall High School on the first day of school in 2012.

“I walked into the cafeteria and I didn’t really have any one person that I was trying to kill. I just turned to the side and shot and then before I could even get the second shot off a teacher came over and like pushed me up against a vending machine, so then I was stuck there and just gave up,” Gladden told detectives. Only one student was injured in the shooting.

Gladden told police he had twenty-one bullets, stating, “I figured if I’m going to do it I might as well do it a lot,” reports ABC News.

Baltimore County executive Kevin Kamenetz says $13.6 million worth of added security has been implemented in its public schools since the 2012 shooting.

Updates include a new video dashboard system that allows police officers to see school security camera video in real time, reports CBS Local.

“Depending on what type of call it is where we can deploy all our resources, how to respond, emergency status or routine status,” said officer Melvin Callaman of the Baltimore Police Department. “Officers on the midnight shift, they can get a simple burglar alarm – they can log on, see if there’s somebody inside.”

The system includes live videos of the main office, lobby, playgrounds and traffic cameras.

“They can change very quickly and easily to the situation they want to view and have that full situational awareness coming up on a screen,” said director of Baltimore’s Office of Information Technology Rob Stradling.

On Friday, a police vehicle adorned with the new system was parked outside of Southwest Academy for residents to see.

In addition, all elementary schools have been equipped with card reader door locks and GPS units were also installed on all school buses.

Baltimore County is the 25th largest school district in the country and the third largest in Maryland.

About the Author

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Amy Rock is the Campus Safety Web Editor. She graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Education.

She has worked in the publishing industry since 2011, in both events and digital marketing.

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