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Integrated Video and Electronic Door Locks Facilitate Cohesive Public Safety Response 

Technology and public safety took center stage today on the final day of American Education Week as Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz highlighted the $13.6 million in school security upgrades his administration has invested since 2011.

Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence Sheridan and Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) Chief Administrative and Operating Officer Kevin Smith joined the County Executive at Southwest Academy in Gwynn Oak to assert the value of their school safety partnership; including collaborative training and operations; and unprecedented investments in integrated security video technology, secure door access and school bus GPS technology.

“Thanks to our $1.3 billion Schools for Our Future program, we are creating modern, healthy learning environments for students all around Baltimore County, and a critical element in our investment is in ensuring that all of our schoolhouses are safe places for students and staff,” said Kamenetz.

“Safe, secure schools are of the utmost importance and these technology investments make sense in today’s world,” said Baltimore County Council Chair Tom Quirk.

Security Cameras and Card Reader Door Locks Now Installed in all County Schools

Since 2011, the Kamenetz administration has invested $13.6 million to safeguard schools by installing security cameras and card reader door locks in all Baltimore County elementary schools and enhancing these security measures in middle and high schools. This funding initiative increased the number of school cameras by 400%, from 1,150 to 4,600; newly installing them in all elementary schools, and enhancing existing cameras and adding them as needed in middle and high schools. In the same time frame, the number of card reader door locks in schools more than doubled from 261 to 583, providing an important measure of security for routine schooldays as well as in emergencies.

Integrated Video Dashboard Offers Police Real-Time Situational Awareness

The County is now completing the installation of video dashboard technology that provides public safety officials with instant access to video feeds from security cameras at schools, libraries and other public facilities; as well giving them direct access to live traffic cameras on state highways. GPS systems are now installed in County school buses through a partnership between County government and Baltimore County Public Schools.

Today’s event included a demonstration by a Baltimore County police officer of the video dashboard technology that provides responding officers with immediate, unfiltered situational awareness information when responding to an incident at a school.

Training and Coordination

BCPS and Baltimore County Police continually train together and conduct multiple live scenario exercises each year to ensure a rapid, coordinated response to any situation that may arise, including active assailants. The County’s  School Resource Officer program, which places specially trained officers in schools, is a key component of the integration of resources and expertise between schools and first responders.

IT Infrastructure Investment Enables Modern Security Technology

The County’s aggressive $18.5 million investment in broadband fiber connectivity and a $12 million dollar WiFi initiative for schools not only gives students and teachers high-speed internet access for instruction, it also supports modern security techniques like integrated video technology and card reader door locks.

Kamenetz also funded $2 million for the school system to employ a robust Internet content filtering system to protect students from accessing inappropriate or potentially harmful websites.

Please feel free to share photos from today’s event, which are online at https://www.flickr.com/photos/baltimorecounty/albums/72157666481080009


Seven BCPS High Schools Ranked Among the Top 25 in the Baltimore Region

As part of his celebration of American Education Week, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz honored seven Baltimore County public high schools ranked among the region’s 25 best by Niche, a nationally recognized website that evaluates schools and neighborhoods.

Niche recently released its 2018 rankings of every public and private school in the country, ranking them by city, state, and metropolitan area. High schools were given a final letter grade, based on a series of grades given in a wide variety of categories, including diversity, quality of the teachers, academic curriculum and the promotion of health and wellness. The Baltimore Business Journal reviewed Niche’s data and published a listing of the top 25 high schools in the Baltimore region, including seven BCPS high schools.

Kamenetz presented Executive Citations to the principals and student and staff representatives of these schools:

  • Catonsville High School
  • Dulaney High School
  • Eastern Technical High School
  • Hereford High School
  • George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology
  • Towson High School
  • Western School of Technology  

“We are delighted that almost one-third of the top 25 high schools in our region are right here in Baltimore County,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who joked to the parents present at the event that their property values had just gone up based on the rankings. “These ranking are another testament to the excellent work being done by everyone in our school system.”

“I appreciate this opportunity to celebrate these schools that are truly jewels of their communities,” said BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White. “There is no mystery behind such excellence. It is the result of everyday commitment and dedication by leaders, staff, and families to prepare students for lifelong success. I am particularly proud of our schools for their well-rounded combination of high achievement, positive climates, and strong academic and extracurricular programming.”

Photos from the event are online on the County’s website. Please feel free to share them. 


Show airs on Cable Channel 25 and online

The latest edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” reports on how the County is preparing for increased storm intensity and flooding potential, spotlights the good work of the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, and offers helpful flu prevention advice from the Health Department.

In Case You Missed It – Catch up on recent Baltimore County headlines.

Education Foundation of BCPS – Executive Director Debbie Phelps shares how you can help them support County schools.

Get the Shot, Not the Flu! – Follow this Health Department doctor’s advice to keep your family healthy this winter.

Floods Happen, Even Here! – County experts explain floodplains, flood insurance and how the County is preparing for rising sea levels.

You can also view the show on the County website’s Hello Baltimore County page at http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Videos/hellobaltimorecounty.html . Click on the menu icon in the upper left of the video screen to select an individual segment.

In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:

Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m.

Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.

Thursdays: 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.

Saturdays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017