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Baltimore Co. Schools Install Security Cameras

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County is spending millions of dollars to protect elementary school students. The county has installed the cameras to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

Rochelle Ritchie has more.

Law enforcement and school safety officials will have access to these cameras. They say it will keep the kids safe and potentially deter them from misbehaving in class.

It’s a $3.7 million project aimed at keeping kids safe.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said one person.

It’s called the One View System and is in operation right now at 107 elementary schools in Baltimore County. The cameras are accessible from police precincts and patrol cars.

Baltimore County police officers will not only have access to the cameras through computers inside their car but also through cell phones.

“We believe strongly that this new technology, the step in this direction, will enhance public safety in our schools and in our communities, as well,” said Police Chief Jim Johnson.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz says the new technology allows law enforcement to proactively respond to school incidents. School shootings, like the one in Newtown, claimed the lives of dozens of children and teachers. At Perry Hall High School, a student was nearly killed after being shot in the cafeteria.

“That was a sad day for all of us because as much as we would like to believe that Baltimore County is immune to these types of events, it is clear that we’re not,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Parents say the technology is an investment well worth it.

“I think the more cameras the better, seriously,” said Patty Ryan.

But some are concerned about an invasion of privacy.

“There’s a whole thing about invading your own personal space and the kids’ space. I don’t know how I feel about that,” said Ellie Lott.

Regardless of how you feel, Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance says he’s committed to safer kids and safer schools.

“We talk about academics in Baltimore County public schools but if the safety aspect is not there for our students and our families, nothing else will matter,” said Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance.

Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson says they also spent $260,000 to install cameras across the county in areas that are prone to crime.

A portion of the funding for the cameras came from money made from speed cameras.

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