Wake County Schools

Plan would put high-tech security measures in all Wake schools

Posted March 12, 2013

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— High-tech security measures could be coming soon to schools across Wake County. The public school system's facilities committee meets Wednesday to discuss a proposal that would put camera systems and access-control measures in each of the district's 169 schools.

Russ Smith, the school system's senior director of security, said there is no consistency in security measures across district schools, so staff have mapped out a $18 million plan that would be added to the anticipated school bond this fall.

"We're talking about cameras, camera systems, access control, our visitor management systems, our intercom systems," Smith said. "You have some schools that have a lot of cameras and some schools that don't have any cameras ... We're trying to find a level of consistency, so all schools have the same level of security systems in place."

All elementary schools would be fitted with a key-card entry system for all doors, which would allow for more effective lockdowns during emergencies.

"Currently, 27 schools have this computerized sign-in system where they take your picture and scan your driver's license," Smith said.

Under the proposal, all schools would be connected in that system. That means if, for example, a sex offender or someone banned from school property tried to get into one school, the system would automatically alert the central office.

Wake schools seeks to ramp up security with cameras, access controls Wake schools to consider $18 million security plan

In February, the school board developed a schools safety task force to review the system's policies for emergency prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison heads that task force and said it's important for new security measures to be coupled with training and education.

"It's a big undertaking, but I think we can improve some things," Harrison said. "Letting the teachers know, letting the staff know, letting the parents know, all of this is one big bubble – it's all got to mesh together."

The biggest challenge may be financial, Smith said.

"The challenge is going to be the money it's going to take to do this," he said. "It's important we stay in the forefront as far as security."

The plan is expected to go before county commissioners next week.

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  • junkmail5 Mar 13, 2013

    Then show me where these incidents happened in the 1960's and 1970's.
    xylem01

    Howard Unruh, 1949, shot 16
    Michael Andrew Clark, 1965, shot 14
    Charles Whitman, 1966, shot 47, started Belltower jokes
    Louis Koullapis, 1965, shot 27
    Donald Martin Lambright, 1969, shot 20
    Harvey McLeod, 1972, shot 11 (at North Hills in Raleigh!) William Ray Bonner, 1973, shot 14 Russell Lee Smith, 1975, shot 13 Moses Pearson, 1976, shot 16 Kenyon William Pruyn, 1976, shot 12 Ulysses L Cribbs, 1977, shot 26 Ira Attebury, 1979, shot 54!

    That's just a brief, incomplete, list...

    What was that about it not happening in the 60s and 70s?

  • xylem01 Mar 13, 2013

    The reality which many of the anti-gun crowd fails to realize is that these tragedies would have occurred regardless of the availability of high cap mags and any amount of incessant whining will not change that. - Ole Glory

    Then show me where these incidents happened in the 1960's and 1970's.

  • wakewiseone Mar 13, 2013

    no question high tech can play some sort of role in school security. BUT (and there always is one) what about someone who wants in.........breaks glass, shoots out the hardware on a door, etc. etc.

    seems to me the fallback of SROs is a really good tool to use in significantly improving school safety. and our money spending president could go a long way by stepping up and funding SROs at every school in the country.

  • torchhappysean Mar 13, 2013

    I see no mention of truely life saving devices like bulletproof window or armored doors on the class rooms..While the security measures that are mentioned would stop the average citizen they would be a waste of time in trying to stop a real madman or terrorist.. I still think we truely have the need to have trained and armed personel instead of a few well meant door locks....

  • Red Green Mar 13, 2013

    “These security measures should be paid for by a tax on large capacity magazines. It is the availability of semi-automatic weapons that contributed to the tragedies at Columbine and Sandy Hook, etc.” goldenosprey

    Should we also start taxing the manufacturers of beer, wine and distilled products for alcohol related deaths? The reality which many of the anti-gun crowd fails to realize is that these tragedies would have occurred regardless of the availability of high cap mags and any amount of incessant whining will not change that. It’s just something that you tell each other so that you have something to focus your anger on. God forbid that you all exercise the gray matter between your ears and come up with logical solutions.

  • momeeee Mar 13, 2013

    Sounds nice, but my child's classroom has not had a doorknob in over a month...

  • must b crazy Mar 13, 2013

    We are a society of over-reaction.

  • xylem01 Mar 13, 2013

    These security measures should be paid for by a tax on large capacity magazines. - goldenosprey

    Golden, that is THE BEST idea I have heard!!!!!

  • goldenosprey Mar 13, 2013

    "I guess people with kids want this "entitlement". I don't have any so why should I have to pay? I would NEVER impose a tax increase on myself. WHY WOULD YOU?"-xylem

    Is it crazy to expect your child to be safe at school? These security measures should be paid for by a tax on large capacity magazines. It is the availability of semi-automatic weapons that contributed to the tragedies at Columbine and Sandy Hook, etc. Time someone paid for the expense created by these things.

  • Uhavenoclu Mar 13, 2013

    In some countries once a child set foot on the school property, the school had control over the children and parents had say how the children behaved and were punished.
    And it may sound bad but the children grew up to learn to respect .

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