Police get grant for potential security upgrades in Baton Rouge schools
BATON ROUGE - At Capitol Elementary in Baton Rouge, there are signs of heightened security. Newer school facilities have them and others will soon be added to the list.
“It's very important to us. It's very important to the school system and to the parents that we have something in place to where we can actively affect anyone who is trying to harm the schools, the kids,” said Seargent L’Jean McKneeley of Baton Rouge Police Department.
With a grant of more than $295,000, East Baton Rouge Parish schools will get new features like upgraded security cameras, alarms, and an app that's linked directly with police.
“The app is going to be where we can communicate with the Baton Rouge Police Department a little bit faster. So if something is reported on campus, that can be reported directly to some deputies at BRPD,” said Taylor Gast.
The new features will also include video door bells, letting school administrators know exactly who is coming into their schools and who is letting them in. At Capitol Elementary, the new technology is already making a big difference.
“It has slowed some things down,” said Karla Johnson, principal at Capitol. “Normally, you will have many people come in with one family and so we couldn't identify them correctly. Now, not so many people come in since they know we have a video system."
Other administrators in the district are anxious to get the same top-notch security enhancements.
“They're like, 'Oh wow, when can I get something like this?' So I think the move is coming through, and some schools have had it prior to me. We're feeling much better and we are feeling safer," Johnson said.
The school board will vote on the measure at their next meeting on Thursday, November 15 at 5 PM.
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