BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD - Each elementary school in Baltimore County has at least three security cameras installed in random areas throughout the building, giving police officers the ability to check what's going on in real time.
"We talk about academics for Baltimore County Public Schools, but if the safety aspect is not there for our students and our families, then nothing else will, in fact, matter," said Baltimore County Superintendent S. Dallas Dance.
The Baltimore County Police Department, school district, and county executive teamed up to make the $3.7 million project happen. They say it's a response to the recent rash of school shootings across the country , in particular, one that hit too close to home.
"Obviously, for the people of Baltimore County, we know first hand, unfortunately, the terror of Columbine hitting home on the first day of school last year at Perry Hall High School when a student opened fire in the cafeteria," Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said.
The cameras are meant to provide extra security and are installed in several different areas throughout the buildings. The officers are able to pull up the live video directly to the monitors in their vehicles, on their cells phones, and on their iPads.
They also plan to add 12 to 15 portable cameras throughout a handful of problem areas around the county. The officers will be able to monitor the video using the same technology.
The county is planning a 'Phase II' of the project, which will upgrade existing cameras in the middle and high schools.