CMS, CMPD address school safety - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

CMS, CMPD address school safety

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

It was a show of unity when Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison spoke about school safety with representatives from every police department the district works with by his side.

The press briefing was designed to send a message to parents: security is a top priority. Within hours of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting Morrison said he and law enforcement officials were talking about CMS procedures.

Leaders spoke about security protocols, school crisis plans, law enforcement training, visitor policies, and other safety measures. 

Morrison said principals are reviewing individual school security plans. There are standard policies within CMS, but every school campus is different. Some schools have open campuses, and mobile classrooms.  Others are designed with one main building. 

CMS is also increasing the security presence in schools this week. Chief Rodney Monroe said patrol officers will be staffed at every school. He did not give a timeframe for when their presence will end. Monroe said there was no specific threat, but the extra security was designed to make students, staff and parents feel more safe.

Monroe also said over the weekend, the department started to make sure every officer was familiar with CMPD's active shooter plan.

Morrison said "Our teachers and staff go through a number of training and drills to address intruders."

Besides security, Morrison said the mental health crisis needs more attention and support. 

"We are a country where we have to acknowledge there are too many incidents of violence. There's too many ways to hurt or kill people and not enough to address mental illness," he said.

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