Superintendent, county executive, and police chief announce plans to improve school safety

L to R: Councilman David Marks, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Superintendent Dallas Dance, and Police Chief Jim Johnson

Underscoring the importance of making schools safer and more secure, Baltimore County school, government, and law enforcement officials joined forces Tuesday to announce the first steps in a multi-phase program to improve security at all Baltimore County schools.

Flanked by BCPS Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance and Chief of Police Jim Johnson, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said during the January 29 announcement that he would request $3.7 million in additional funding for safety enhancements in Baltimore County’s 174 schools, centers, and programs.

The announcement was the result of an ongoing review of school safety and security operations in Baltimore County Public Schools. The review dovetails with Dr. Dance’s making school safety one of the priorities of the first year of his administration.

Among the recommendations in the first phase of the school safety initiative are:

  • Installation of state-of-the-art camera systems in all elementary and special education schools to supplement those systems already in operation in the county’s middle and high schools. Video from the cameras will be streamed live to police patrol cars in the community, the local police precinct, and police headquarters in Towson.
  • Providing all School Resource Officers in the county’s middle and high schools with mobile tablets enabling the officers to monitor an entire school campus as they move around the building.
  • Installation or upgrading of electronic entry systems in all schools.
  • Creation of a state-of-the-art visitor identification system.

“The safety and security of our students is our top priority,” said Dr. Dance, who commended the County Executive Kamenetz and Chief Johnson for their partnership. “The measures outlined today are the initial steps in our continuing goal of making our schools as safe as possible for our students, staff, and visitors.”

While school safety has been a priority of the Superintendent, it has become a more pressing issue in the wake of incidents of violence at Perry Hall High School in August and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December.


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