by: Paige Hansen Updated:
CHARLOTTE - A plan to install security cameras at Charlotte-Mecklenburg elementary schools was approved Tuesday by the board.
The district told Eyewitness News, the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., prompted them to take a closer look at security measures and speed up the process of enhancing security at the 160 schools in the district.
Security cameras are like extra eyes for a district hoping to keep thousands of CMS students safe, said CMS Police Chief Randy Hagler.
"Nationwide you've seen an uptick in the amount of money spent on security," Guy Chamberlain, the CMS associate superintendent for auxiliary services, said. "I don’t think it is wasted money."
Parents coming and going from Windsor Park Elementary on Tuesday told Eyewitness news security cameras are a good idea.
"That's my daughter," Todd Aiton, a parent with a student at Windsor Park said. "Someone has to be responsible for her when her parents aren't (there)."
Windsor Park will be one of 26 elementary schools that will see cameras installed in the next couple months.
Of the $20 million in taxpayer money approved last year by the county to enhance security at CMS schools, more than half, or $12,045,027, will be spent on cameras.
"We're leaving our most prized possession, our gifts from God and to know that they're just not safe it's a very hurtful feeling," Rhonda Kinsey, a CMS parent said.
CMS leaders know security cameras won't prevent bad things from happening but enhanced security measures, like the cameras and new visitor registration technology, will help control access to schools.
The board passed the item on a consent agenda. The district said all high schools and some middle schools already have security cameras. By the start of next school year, the goal is to have the cameras at every elementary school district-wide.
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