Prince George’s kids go back to secure schools

Prince George\'s County kids go back to school Monday, Aug. 19. (WTOP/Kristi King)

WASHINGTON — Panic buttons and closed-circuit cameras soon will be part of security at every Prince George’s County, Md., school.

Children going back to class on Monday in Prince George’s are returning to schools in the midst of security upgrades worth $7.5 million.

“We’ve been hardening our access to schools,” says Kevin Maxwell, CEO of Prince George’s County Public Schools.

Schools are also working with the police department.

“Some of those things people will see readily, some they will not see,” says Maxwell.

The security upgrades are possible through a grant from the state of Maryland, says Max Pugh, acting director of communications for Prince George’s County Schools.

Schools that don’t already have closed circuit television systems will be getting one. All schools will also have remote entry access that utilizes cards or key pads to get into buildings.

“Also panic buttons are being installed in every single school,” Pugh says.

The funding for the electronic entry, cameras and panic buttons comes from two sources: The school board allocated $4.2 million from 2014 funds, and $3.3 million is a portion of a school security initiative grant supported by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. The total cost was $7.5 million.

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