Charlotte leaders discuss how to spend $4.6M on improving school safety

CMS gives update on security measures

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will receive $4.6 million from the county to improve safety and security at every school.

"Safety is our No. 1 priority,” Charlotte Councilmember At-Large Dimple Ajmera said. “Safety is a key focus."

City leaders, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney, CMS Superintendent Clayton Wilcox and Ajmera provided an update at a town hall meeting about how that money will be used.

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"Our intentional effort is because of what we saw last school year,” Putney said.

Wilcox told Channel 9 reporter Stephanie Tinoco city leaders are looking at more than cameras and locks to keep students safe.

Please join Chief Putney, CMS Superintendent Wilcox and Councilwoman Ajmera as they discuss safety in our schools

Posted by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Thursday, July 19, 2018

CMS is hiring five more resource officers before the school year starts, and implementing changes to each campus, pending the approval of the county.

“They did say we have to give them a specific plan, so we're getting ready to give them that plan of what we're going to do,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox did not say when the district plans on having those positions filled.

“There is not a set date right now,” Wilcox said. “We're trying to hire the best, most qualified, people we can."

Wilcox listed a few changes they're looking into for school campuses.

"Some places we'll be doing things like security film on windows,” Wilcox said. “Other places, we'll be creating security. Other places, we'll be looking at walk zones and fencing."

Wilcox said CMPD will have access to all school cameras and floor plans to assess schools in the future.

The biggest focus, however, is to provide enough people to make sure their plans are executed smoothly.

"We're already deeply engaged in most of them,” Wilcox said. “We will continue through the summer and in the fall."

The district is hiring 30 new guidance counselors, 20 psychologists and 10 social workers to help spot and support people with mental illness.

Myers Park High School will be the first school trained in August.

CMS has spent $6.5 million on resource officers.

Putney said 50 school resource officers, plus about 25 CMS officers, started active shooter training in the spring and will continue through the summer.