In response to a recent uptick of crime in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, including one fatal school shooting, Mecklenburg County commissioners unanimously approved a school safety plan calling for over $9 million dollars of security technology this week. Here’s what the school system will be installing to protect its students and teachers from future harm.
The new security plan includes enhanced video surveillance equipment both inside and outside the schools, classroom cameras, visitor management systems, electronic locks, and new automatic gates and entryway systems. The new equipment is set to make CMS one of the most, if not the most, secure school systems in the state. Over the next couple of weeks, the district will start rolling out the upgrades, including panic alarms on staff lanyards and cameras inside the classrooms.
When making the security plan, commissioners took into consideration lessons learned from recent school shootings, such as the shooting in Parkland, Florida. There, Parkland law enforcement officers were monitoring a delayed camera feed, causing confusion and communication issues. Charlotte law enforcement officers will be able to track movement in real time using a high-quality feed, a crucial upgrade which security experts say can save lives.
Teachers will also be equipped with panic buttons on lanyards, enabling them to immediately alert law enforcement during an active shooter situation.
The county voted to release $4.5 million from a contingency fund so CMS can begin putting the plan’s Phase I in place. Representatives say it already has half the funds required for Phase II. The full budget can be viewed here. Phase I includes:
· $1.75 million for video surveillance systems in mobile classrooms and outside venues.
· $100,000 worth of enhanced video surveillance for 20 high schools.
· $250,000 worth of panic card alarms for teachers.
· $600,000 worth of visitor management systems.
· $1.8 million for upgraded electronic locks for all schools.
With this plan in place, Charlotte’s schools are set to be much safer from crime and school shootings. If you need to protect your residential or commercial property, contact James Access Controls. Our gates, gate operators, video surveillance, and other Charlotte security management solutions will help protect you and your property as much as possible.