CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools received a grant to bolster security across the district.
“We wanted it to coincide with some of the things that we’ve already done and some of the things that we want to do,” said Brian Schultz, the director of operations at CMS.
CMS was recently awarded a $2.8 million grant from the North Carolina Center for School Safety.
The district will first use it to add security cameras at all of the district’s 105 elementary school campuses.
“On average, probably five additional with multiple cameras with multiple views at each of our elementary schools,” Schultz said.
The district will also use the grant money to launch a pilot door access control and intrusion system.
The first will be tested at Harding High School, which is an open campus.
The system will also be tested at Collinswood K-8, which is one building, Schultz said.
The system works so if a door is left open, or an unauthorized person manages to force their way into a building, CMS will get an alert about the specific door.
The doors will be integrated with cameras allowing them to record the activity that just occurred at that door.
“The main thing is looking for anybody that will come into a facility when they’re not supposed to be coming into the facility and how quickly we can respond to that,” Schultz said.
The district will also get triage kits for every classroom and common area, in addition to AED machines and blood pathogen kits.
“A kit that you can respond to wounds,” Schultz said. “Something that can block a door to keep an intruder from coming in but then also a tool to break a window to get out.”
Parent Crystal Mobley said knowing more steps are being made to keep children safe gives her peace of mind.
“I do think if they do use the money from the grant, that would be an added layer of protection for the students and the parents will feel more secure,” Mobley said.
The district will study the door access and intrusion system to see whether it can be expanded to the rest of the district.
Officials have been conducting active survival training with all CMS employees this year.
Weapon detectors were expanded from high schools in CMS to all of the district’s middle schools this year.
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