Members of the Baltimore County Council on Monday approved spending $3.7 million on school safety equipment, including cameras, improved electronic entry systems and a new visitor ID system.
County police, county officials and school leaders proposed the package last week, and the plan was added to the capital spending bill council members voted on Monday. Under the plan, the county will expand the use of cameras in schools, and the video will stream live to police patrol cars, precincts and command staff at police headquarters. School police officers will get mobile tablets to monitor the footage.
Council Chairman Tom Quirk said after the meeting that he believes county schools are "very safe," but that leaders still must look for improvements.
"We need to do everything we can to ensure that our students learn in a safe environment," Quirk, a Catonsville Democrat, said after the council meeting.
On the first day of this school year, a Perry Hall High student was critically injured in a shooting at the school's cafeteria.
The spending bill approved Monday also includes $7.3 million for school improvement projects, including the renovation of Pikesville High and Catonsville Elementary; an addition at Sparks Elementary; and air conditioning, roof, door, window and boiler improvements at various schools.
Additionally, the capital budget includes $6.9 million to make infrastructure improvements and build a second garage at the Owings Mills Metro Centre, a mixed-use project being developed by David S. Brown Enterprises near the subway line.