Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, Board of Education President Julie Hummer, Superintendent George Arlotto, and Police Chief Tim Altomare today announced funding the County will propose to protect the school system’s more than 82,000 students from harm.
“No child should ever fear going to school in our County,” said Schuh. “Working with Dr. Arlotto and the Board, our Administration will propose funding the needed staff and school upgrades that will keep our children safe.”
The $14.8 million proposal will fund:
• 20 additional School Resource Officers, enough to station one at every county high school and middle school
• More than 1,500 cameras for schools
• Lock upgrades for 4,000 doors in County schools
• Double-door security systems at all high schools in the County
• Protective tactical equipment for every school.
The plan would be funded over two years. The County expects that some of the costs of these initiatives will be defrayed by state funds.
“Our partnership with the county Police Department has been held up as a national model, and this is one more way in which we will continue to work together to help keep our children safe,” Mrs. Hummer said.
“There is no greater duty that we have than to help ensure that the students entrusted to us are safe when they enter our buildings, said Dr. Arlotto. “SROs give provide more eyes and ears as students move about our buildings, and the double-entryway system – which we are installing in all new and renovated buildings – is a huge enhancement to the security of our facilities.”
Dr. Arlotto also announced that the school system will reinstitute its School Safety and Security Council. The Council is comprised of school, county, law enforcement, and community officials as well as parents and students, and makes recommendations on school safety measures. The superintendent also announced schools will be asked to make space available for patrol officers to use on down time in between calls so that those officers can provide additional presence in the county’s 120-plus school facilities.
“We are committed to working in partnership with our schools to provide the needed deterrents to violence,” said Chief Tim Altomare.
All proposals are subject to approval by the County Council.