County Commissioners to hear CMS details about security features for schools

CMS updates county on security plan

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) have decided how they want to upgrade security at area schools. County Commissioner are about to hear the $9M plan.

CMS says Phase one includes:

  1. Video Surveillance for portable classrooms and outside venues that would cost $1,750,000.00 
  2. Enhanced Video Surveillance for 20 high schools will ring up $100,00.00.  
  3. 10,000 Panic Card Alarms for $250,000.00  
  4. Visitor Management Systems for $600,000.00. 
  5. And all schools would get additional electronic locks and controlled access that would cost $1,800,000.00 
  6. CMS says phase one has a price tag of $4.5M.  

In phase 2:

  1. 25 middle schools would get Enhanced Video Surveillance - that’s $125,000.00 
  2. Six Classroom Camera Systems for $2,700,000.00
  3. 2,000 Panic Card Alarms for $50,000.00 
  4. And, reconstruction of gates and entryways for $1625,000.00 
  5. Phase 2 will also cost $4.5M.

During the budget process earlier this year, county commissioners decided to put aside $4.5M in a contingency fund until CMS finalized its security plan.

Tonight, commissioners will decide whether to release that money to CMS.

“The video piece around the trailers seems to make sense,” said Commissioner Jim Puckett. “There’s something about some security cards that I have no idea what that means. There’s an awful lot of money in that.”

Puckett, who is Vice Chair of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, says "I have to trust that they know what they're doing,” said Commissioner Jim Puckett. “There's not a whole lot detail there but they have at least shown they're going to spend the money on security as opposed to putting it into football stadiums or something else."

"I think that additional security features are neces;sary. I have some concern as to the cost of them, and the vendors that they’re using and how they’ve come to the conclusion that certain cameras cost certain amounts of money” said parent Francesca Totty. “I think that yes it’s important for us to increase the security but I’m not 100% sure that these items are the most appropriate.” Totty’s son in the fourth grade at Elizabeth Lane Elementary School - where they already have surveillance cameras. School officials say the security plan that would add more cameras to give more views to the mobile-classroom areas.

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