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Budget: School Safety Proposal Could Cost $5.6 Million

Take a look at the breakdown on the approximate $5.6 million request for increased security in Prince George's public schools.

Security Services for Prince George's public schools plans to recommend an increased security proposal Thursday to the county Board of Education.

Rex Barrett, deputy director of Security Services, talked to Patch about how the recommendations could help protect school children. See the details on panic buttons, more police officers, detecting potentially dangerous criminals at the door and new cameras.

Barrett also shared his thoughts on the plan and how its timeline was accelerated after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Long-Term Safety Recommendations

  • Acquire the SAMS (Situational Analysis Management System) data system for efficient resource deployment and predictive analysis (Approximate cost $300,000).
  • Install a panic button feature in the front office of each school (Approximate cost $150,000).
  • Install electronic controlled access to each school (Approximate cost $2.5 million).
  • Installation of cameras at 65 schools (Approximate cost $1.7 million).
  • Coordinate with county government to explore options for increased police personnel in secondary schools.
  • Create a staffing matrix to provide a school police officer for every high school and middle school and a regional response for the elementary schools.
  • Hire three dispatchers to monitor security radio frequencies, panic alarms and provide dispatching services (Approximate cost $175,000).
  • Hire 10 additional security staff to assist with emergency response coverage (zoned response and patrols for elementary schools) (Approximate cost $800,000).

The approximate cost for the proposal is slightly more than $5.6 million, Barrett confirmed. This does not take into account costs associated with an increased police presence in the schools, which, if approved by the board, will be explored with the Prince George's Police Department and other jurisdictions with police forces, according to Barrett.

Briant Coleman, spokesman for Prince George's County Public Schools, said what the board will be considering is a proposal and that the board will have to make the final decision.

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