Bay District Schools Upgrading Security Systems

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Bay District School officials will be increasing security at all schools this fall. They're adding more security cameras and upgrading the district operations center.

The changes are in response to the recommendations from a district task force formed after the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.

Bay District Schools will be installing nearly 50 additional security cameras over the next few months, nearly doubling the current number.

The move is a direct response to the Sandy Hook school massacre and recommendations from the task that was appointed shortly after the shootings.

"Not just our district, but a lot of districts did the same thing. Our superintendent, Bill Husfelt, said 'let's just get the community here, let's show them what we're doing, show them what we've got, and ask them what can we do to improve on that,'" said Bay District Schools Security Chief, Mike Jones.

The new cameras installations will require some upgrades to the district's central security command center, where district security chief Mike Jones and his staff can monitor schools.

"We'll be able to see a lot better clearer picture, a lot more places we couldn't see before. Doubling the amount of cameras that we had, that's phenomenal. We'll be able to see all the cracks and corners that we couldn't see before," said Jones.

The district is also adding fencing at a number of schools including Rutherford High School.

These upgrades are costing a quarter of a million dollars. Half of the cost is being paid for by a Homeland Security grant. A reason why the district is upgrading their systems now.

"We've always taken school security seriously, but anytime you can upgrade and do grant money to do that, it's really beneficial to the schools, the students, and the taxpayers. It's a win, win, win," said Superintendent, Bill Husfelt.

All of the upgrades should be in place by the end of the year.

The district task force also recommended school resource officers at all Bay County schools, but the district doesn't have the money to fund more officers.

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