Gwinnett County officials are teaming up to increase security at local schools following several campus shootings, including the massacre in Newtown, Conn., McNair Learning Academy in Decatur, and this week’s tragedy in Nevada.
Gwinnett County Police Chief Charles Walters announced the partnership between GCPD, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, Board of Education and Buford City Schools at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
At Tuesday evening’s BOC meeting, commissioners voted to allocate up to $5 million from 2014 SPLOST funds for an automatic alert system in each of Gwinnett County’s 132 schools. That’s if the SPLOST measure passes on Nov. 5.
The system would directly send a signal to the Gwinnett County 911 Center at the push of a button and eliminate the need for someone to place a 911 call. Cameras would also be installed at each school in the Gwinnett and Buford school systems. When the alert goes out, a live camera feed of the school will automatically be sent to the 911 center.
“Today, more than ever, parents are asking us to protect their schools and children,” said Bobby Crowson, Associate Superintendent of School Improvement and Support at the press conference. “This partnership will allow us to do this.”
However, if Gwinnett County citizens do not vote in favor of the one percent special-purpose local-option sales tax, the project will not have the funds it needs to be completed.
There are currently emergency plans and responses for each type of school according to Walters. Under the current model, emergency responders have to wait until the first officer arrives on scene to receive an accurate image of what is happening on the school grounds.
Will the allocation of potential SPLOST funds to this project affect your vote on Nov. 5? Let us know in the comments.