The Berkeley County School District allocated $1.8 million toward safety upgrades at schools across the district. Much of the money was used over the summer to install more than a thousand high resolution cameras. Some schools were outfitted with double barrier entry ways. A resource officer was added to Cainhoy and Macedonia Middle Schools. Now all the middle and high schools have officers.
This is the first year Macedonia Middle School principal, Janie Langley, will have a full time school resource officer at her school.
"Times as they are, you never want to hide your head in the sand and think it won't happen here. It can happen anywhere. I am excited," she said of the Berkeley County deputy stationed at the school.
At Marrington Elementary visitors must pass through an additional set of doors to get into the school.
"It helped to close the access to the building," Principal, Barb Webber, said. "It added that layer of security."
Webber says the district also doubled the number of high-res security cameras on campus to cover blind spots from the parking lot to the playground and hallways. Nearly 1,100 cameras were installed district wide.
"These we have now you can see the wrinkles in their face," Deputy Superintendent, Archie Franchini, said. The district hired a full time security expert to oversee training of staff.
"New techniques and training styles are being implemented" Safety and Security Officer, Tim Knight, said. "It's imperative that we stay on top of these new trends and new training styles."
Some schools still need upgrades like a double entry at Macedonia Middle scheduled for later this year. A budget has already been identified to install a county-wide license scan flagging visitors with criminal records or registered sex offenders.
"We are still looking at trying to find the best system and the most current system that will work in our technology," Franchini.