Baltimore County adds security measures to schools

Posted at 6:18 PM, Apr 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-05 18:18:24-04

If approved by the Baltimore County Council, Baltimore County Schools is set to receive another eight million dollars per year to beef up security and mental health services.

Baltimore County is the latest school district to carve out additional funding for security in light of the shootings in Parkland, Florida and Great Mills High School here in Maryland.

County Executive Kevin Kamenantz says much of it will go to adding more than 100 additional staff.

"When we see that these recent events are coming up and that they are occurring throughout we do like to partner with our Baltimore County government partners as well as with the police department to say what else can we do?" Interim Superintendent Verletta White said.

White hopes to see the added 22 social workers, 23 counselors, and 18 school psychologists in her schools by next year if the budget is passed.

Those services added with another 19 school resource officers to help keep kids both healthy and safe.

Baltimore County already has a pretty robust School Resource Officer program.

There are officers in each high school and middle school in the county and this proposed budget would allow for SROs to be in elementary schools now as well.

The plan is to use ten of the new SRO's to oversee elementary schools in each of the ten police precincts.

The other added 9 positions will be used to double down in high schools that need it.

Baltimore County Police chief Terrance Sheridan says these will be experienced officers trained specifically to fight crime and counsel students.

"You don’t take a rookie and put them into a school,” the chief said, “You take someone that has shown and ability to deal with young people to walk these hallways. They also are teachers, they teach all sorts of courses in these classes."

And the county seems poised to add the staff and the resources.

County Council chairman Julian Jones almost assured the passage of the added eight million dollars in next year's budget.