Washington County Public Schools increase security


School board officials say they pride themselves on being ahead of the game when it comes to security.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Washington County Public Schools is increasing safety and security throughout their buildings.

The Washington County Board of Education says they are working on a new security vestibule. The safety and security risk manager for the district says this new security measure will help keep track of who is in the schools hallways at all times.

“When people come into the schools and do a quick exchange, and lets say someone forgot their lunch or someone had to pay a cafeteria bill, it could all be done right at the front office without having people walk through the building,” Steve Ganley said.

Throughout the 47 schools there are 1,700 cameras, and eight fire drills per building annually. Ganley says WCPS recently added lunchtime fire drills where staff members are walked through what to do during an evacuation. Ganley also says they take advantage of any security resource they can.

“We have resource officers from the Hagerstown Police Department, we also have officers from the Washington County Sheriffs Office. They visit their designated schools, go out to the feeder schools and conduct mentoring programs as well as work with our administration for security issues,”.

School board officials say they pride themselves on being ahead of the game when it comes to security.

“The state came along and said you have to install security vestibules, and we had already done it so we were able to recoup some of that funding so we didn’t have to spend it out of the budget and we got money back, its a big job to make sure you’re schools are secure and I am very confident we have a great staff to do it,” Pieter Bickford said, a WCPS school board member.

School officials say they are planning to implement three more security vestibules next summer.

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