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More safety measures being requested in upcoming budget

March 27, 2007|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY - While some security measures have already been put in place in Washington County Public Schools, others will require budget additions and cost analysis.

School officials are evaluating camera systems at many of the county's middle and high schools to determine if updates and additions are necessary. Steve Ganley, Washington County Public Schools safety and security specialist/risk manager, said a cost analysis is being prepared to determine which schools will receive a camera upgrade.

There are two school resource officers at North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown high schools and their feeder schools. Ganley said school officials are talking with the Hagerstown City Council about hiring a third resource officer.

The operating budget for the coming fiscal year includes a line item for $250,000 to fund five school resource officers at Hagerstown middle and high schools.

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There also was a request for $25,000 for fencing in that budget, which has not yet been approved by Washington County Commissioners. Assistant Superintendent for School Operations Boyd Michael said that money would be used to replace existing fencing or add new fencing for security or other reasons.

Other line items in the proposed budget for training and staff development would also impact security, according to schools spokeswoman Carol Mowen.

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