Security cameras connect Howard County schools to police

Howard County has a new tool to use in its 911 emergency response center.

With the touch of a button county dispatchers can pull up live cameras at all their public schools. These cameras feed pictures from many vantage points inside and outside the school.

Rita Francis is a supervisor in the dispatch center. In her 25 years here, this has been one of the most important improvements, she said.

County Executive Ken Ulman started a task force a year ago in response to the Sandy Hook shooting to see how the county could make its schools safer. Although these improvements have been made at public schools, Ulman has not forgotten about the safety at private schools.

"We are also working with private schools in our county to make sure they have the tools necessary as well. We care about all the children in our county," Ulman said.

Along with the cameras, improvements were made to the entry system for visitors to make the schools more secure. Also, by this time next year 212 school busses will have cameras on board. Each bus will have four cameras.

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